Childhood obesity is now a major problem in the USA. It is more difficult than ever for children to lose weight. We have fast food restaurants at every corner, new snack foods arriving at grocery stores every week and computers and video games to make even the most active child lead a sedentary life. Did I mention poor nutrition in the schools due to the administrations getting kickbacks from snack food vendors? It is no wonder more than half of American kids now are overweight, and half of those kids are obese!
Just because there does not look like any light at the end of the tunnel does not mean you have to give up hope. Your child is depending on you to guide them in the right direction. What will their lives be like in 10 years if they are left to their own devices about eating and exercise? Although it is great for children to learn how to make their own decisions, the consequences later on in life could be disastrous.
Here are 7 Healthy Child Obesity Solution Tips you can implement now to ensure the health of your child, and help them lose weight before it is too late.
Childhood Obesity Solution Tips #1: Turn Off The TV & Computer
87 percent of children watch between 2 and 6 hours of television every single day. Their break time from that is spent sitting in front of a computer. Remember when there were no such things? An overweight child was rare, and the only time a child was sedentary aside from sleeping was when they were engrossed in a book. Limiting the use of the tv and computer will force your children to be more physically active, and they will lose weight. Want an added bonus? It will limit the amount of foul language and violence your child could be exposed to.
Childhood Obesity Solution Tips #2: Retire From Being Their Chauffeur
Making your children walk to school or anywhere else they need to go will not only help drop their pounds, but it will also teach them the value of time. A generation ago, most self-respecting parents would laugh at their child’s suggestion to drive them to school, let alone to soccer practice, ballet lessons or the mall. The damage done from lack of activity is putting children at risk in more ways than their ballooning weight. Where has the fun of bicycle riding and walking with friends gone?
Childhood Obesity Solution Tips #3: Bring Brown Bagging Back
Until your child’s school cafeteria can offer something more nutritious than pizza and chicken fingers, take the extra time to pack their lunch for them. Having your child bring his or her lunch from home can ensure that they are eating well. What happens when you give your child $2 for lunch in the cafeteria? They will spend it all on large French fries, a can of Pepsi and an ice cream sandwich. When you provide no other alternative than for your child to eat proper nutrition, their bodies will lose weight.
Childhood Obesity Solution Tips #4: Send Them To Bed Earlier
Inadequate sleep has a negative impact on a child’s performance in school, on their emotional and social welfare, and increases their risk of being overweight. Make sure they get at least 8 hours of sleep, and more importantly, send them to bed without a snack! Eating before you rest all night will sabotage any person’s weight loss efforts because your body has to work while you sleep to digest the food you eat. This results in a tired feeling when you wake up in the morning that could last for hours into the morning.
Childhood Obesity Solution Tips #5: Stop Allowing Them To Drink Sugar
Drink sugar? What exactly does that mean? It means soda pop, sports drinks and fruit drinks that are packed with sugars. Children get most of their calories from beverages, when they would be better off getting them from fresh fruit and other healthy solid foods. Take a look at the orange juice label. You will be shocked to learn that it is mainly sugar. I know what you are thinking. You yourself grew up drinking these things and you were not a fat child, right? The difference is that now serving sizes and portions are almost double what they used to be, and they are consumed more frequently.
Childhood Obesity Solution Tips #6: Sign Them Up For Something
Our bodies are meant to move, not to sit for hours and hours in front of a TV or computer screen. When your child participates in an activity after school that they enjoy, they will not even miss the couch. Not everyone is good at sports, but almost everyone has an aptitude for some physical activity. They get exposed to different things…martial arts, snowboarding, music lessons, dancing, gymnastics, roller skating, and rock climbing are all just as effective as football and soccer for building healthy bodies.
Childhood Obesity Solution Tips #7: Provide Proper Nutrition
There is nothing better than to start your children’s day off with proper nutrition, and encourage them to make healthy food choices throughout the day. Do not take them to McDonalds just because you do not want to cook something. This is where they will learn habits that will continue into their adult lives. I lost 70 pounds when I began drinking a soy protein shake with fruit every morning instead of eating a fatty breakfast or nothing at all. I have kept my weight off for 15 years because of the proper nutrition I chose to eat. A child who learns this will grow up to be a happy adult. Trust me!
Following the 7 Childhood Obesity Solution Tips listed above will not only help your child lose weight and keep it off for good, but it will also eliminate the word obesity from your family’s vocabulary. What is most important, however, is having the kind of mindset that allows you to want a better life for your child. Technology is great, but it is being abused and our children are suffering physically because of it. Have the courage to make the small daily changes in your child’s life now when it matters the most.