You Are What You Eat!
Help your child become healthier and stronger!
Did you know childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years?
We all know the facts of todays generation of children. Childhood obesity is becoming a widespread epidemic that is causing health issues at a young age. Children are becoming more and more exposed to unhealthy foods like Mcdonalds, Taco Bell, and other various fast food chains. Childhood obesity does not only take an emotional toll on a child but can lead to very dangerous conditions such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. At a young age, children also learn to associate obesity with being ugly and not worthy, therefore, we have seen a rise in depression, lonliness, anxiety, poor self-esteem, and social difficulties in adolescents due to being over weight. According to Laura Berk, author of Development Through the Lifespan "children tend to imitate the food choices of the people they admire, both adults and peers." What does this tell us? Simple: it starts with the parents. Parents need to set examples for their children and attain a healthy lifestyle. The healthier the parent, the healthier the child!
So What Can We Do?
We need to educate ourselves on what is healthy and what is not. What foods are a yes and what foods are a no when it comes to feeding our children. Is junk food okay? Yes! But in moderation of course. We cannot ban our children from all junk, but we can surely manage it! Proper nutrition is crucial in children. In order to promote healthy growth, children should follow this three step plan that will ensure a healthy lifestyle:
1. Exercise: Children should be getting at least a half hour of exercise a day. This will not only keep your child healthy, but also energized throughout the day.
2. Diet: Children need to eat vegetables, fruits, and proteins everyday! Green veggies will help a childs growth development, fruits will help maintain certain vitamins, and proteins will keep a child full of energy throughout the day.
3. Behavior: Believe it or not, a child behavior strategies can also help his/her health. Using rewards and incentives for good behavior, or for exercising properly can help prevent childhood obesity.
The video above is a must see for all parents with questions on childhood nutrition. Carina Saez and Neva Cochran do an excellent job educating parents and caregivers on how to create a balanced diet.
Food For thought!
Fruits and Veggies- try to get at LEAST 5 servings a day! Any type of fruit or veggie is helpful to incorporate into a childs diet. Green veggies especially help promote growth.
Healthy snacks- Instead of reaching for the bag of potato chips try healthier snacks like whole grain crackers and cheese, peanut butter and celery, or even yogurt.
Proteins- Protein helps build muscle and gain energy. Try eating more fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.
Whole grains- Whole grain breads, rice, and cereal are a better choice due to the amount of fiber. Fiber is essential for a well balanced diet.
Limit fats- Instead of eating fried foods, try boiling, baking, or grilling!
Limit sugars- Instead of soda or juices with high sugar, help your kids drink more water to stay hydrated and milk for strong bones!
Lets Promote Health!
Sharma, M., & Bhanot, S. (2009). Conceptual nature of childhood obesity and its psychosocial consequences. Indian Journal Of Community Psychology, 5(2), 272-278.
Berk, Laura E. Development through the Lifespan. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2007. Print.