Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the US. The percentage of children who are obese has tripled since the 1980’s. As a loving parent of an obese child, you can help your child live a healthy, obese-free lifestyle and do away with all of the negative side effects of being overweight. Here are two tools and activities for prevention of childhood obesity:
- Encourage outdoor play – Children who physically play outside have been shown to burn much more calories than children with sedentary lifestyles. If it’s a hot day outside, the family can go out for a refreshing swim at a nearby swimming pool. If there’s good weather out, that’s a great excuse to go on a family hike. If it’s cold out, playing sports or games that involve running, like soccer, track, or tag is a good idea. This keeps the body warm in cold weather. Make sure to stretch five to ten minutes first in order to warm up the muscles and tendons. Just by implementing a weekly family sport day can be a deciding factor in whether or not your child loses weight.
- One very helpful tool is a secret that most people don’t even think about. That being… Fruits! Having your child snack on organic fruits, such as apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, and berries is a great substitute for unhealthy junk food. Even packaged snack food that seems healthy, sometimes has unhealthy ingredients. Worst of all, packaged snack food can be surprisingly high in calories. Some are in the 500 plus calorie range! On the other hand, fruits are much less calorie dense and are sweet in a healthy way as opposed to unhealthy packaged snack foods where refined sugar is one of the main ingredients. By giving your child fruits to snack on, they will be eating much healthier instantly. Not to mention the amount of calories they will be cutting down on.
These are just a couple of the many helpful tools and activities for prevention of childhood obesity. It is very important to treat an obese child early in life so they can live to enjoy a healthy, obese-free adulthood.