Childhood obesity is on the rise in America with almost 10 % of 4 to 5 year olds considered overweight. However, this does not need to mean that your child needs to fall into that category! There are simple everyday things you can do to make sure your child stays in a healthy weight and makes consistent positive lifestyle choices. Check out some tips that you can use to combat childhood obesity with your children.
Set a Good Example
Eating healthy first and foremost starts with your eating habits. Make sure you yourself are making healthy lifestyle choices, eating healthy on a regular basis, and staying active as much as possible. Obesity increases the risk for a number of other medical problems in both adults and children, so making sure your whole family makes positive and healthy choices can reduce this risk.
Schedule Regular Check Ups
Don’t rely on your own intuition for your child’s health, get consistent help from your child’ pediatrician! Regular checkups will ensure that your child gets a physical examination that can catch any illness or obesity warning signs early. You can also address any issues or concerns you have about your child’s development, immunizations, or growth. The physician will also be able to monitor higher, weight, and BMI to make sure that it is within a healthy range.
Make Sure your Child Gets Plenty of Rest
Many studies show that children who regularly get less than the recommended number of hours of sleep are more at risk for being overweight. Children who are in school need about 10 hours of sleep each night and younger children need even more at about 12 hours. Adolescent children need about 9 hours of sleep. Get your child into bed on time and make sure they get naps as much as possible.
Encourage your Child to be Active Every Day
Children should be getting at least one hour of physical activity a day, so it is important that you encourage your children to pay outside as often as possible. You could also do group activities as a family such as hiking or riding bikes together, you could also enroll your child in organized group activities such as dance, class, martial arts, or sports teams. Staying active is an integral part in combating childhood obesity, so get them moving every day!
Go Grocery Shopping Together
When your child goes with you to buy your food, they become involve in what they eat and preparing your family’s meals. Even very young children can help wash fruit and vegetables, stir ingredients, and play a vital role in what your family eats for dinner. You should always look for ways to make your child’s meal healthier and try to eat together as much as possible. You will be surprised, most children don’t have a natural aversion to healthy food like so many people think!