The Importance Of Shaping Good Eating Habits For Children

Obesity in schoolchildren has increased in the last decade. The impact of obesity is that more children are now with Type 2 or lifestyle diabetes (when the body produces either insufficient or ineffective insulin) as a result of their diets and less exercise. This is a worldwide problem that is not to be overlooked because diabetes and obesity are two of the leading risk factors of heart disease.

There are 5 things that can affect children’s eating habits:

High-calorie, high-fat and ready-made foods –

These are easily available and children, even adults, love them. Fast foods and processed snacks like potato chips and biscuits can be addictive once children’s palates get used to them.

TV, DVD, Game Boy, Xbox and home computers –

Studies have shown a strong link between overweight and the time spent in front of the TV and computer.

Subliminal Advertising Messages –

These messages are carried by the commercials of fast foods, sugar-loaded drinks and candies. Children bombarded by these advertisements develop an unhealthy desire for unhealthy foods.

Over-emphasis on School Grades –

Concerns about doing well in school have led to children becoming more sedentary. They stay more time indoors to finish their homework, school projects and attend tuition classes.

Mum’s Not Cooking –

More working parents mean people have less time to cook meals at home. Increasingly, children eat out and can choose to eat whatever they like, usually foods of little or no nutritional value, and foods that are simply unhealthy.

Experts admit that toddler years (that is, when children are about 2 years old) are very crucial in shaping physical growth as well as forming food habits and preferences. As children approach late childhood, between 7 and 10, it becomes more difficult to change their eating habits or reduce the unwanted kilos.

It is during these early years that eating attitudes will develop, including the type of foods considered ‘normal’ and whether meal times should be regarded as a side-activity while watching television or at play.

This is also the period when the child decides if he or she likes salty, sweet and oily fried foods as he or she is moving away from drinking milk and having weaning diets to solids with more texture, smell, and taste. Toddles begin to realize thy can exert control and that the best way is during meal times. Parents and minders must, therefore, be creative when it comes to feeding by giving a variety of healthy foods, making them fun and easy on the eyes.

Source by Ng Peng Hock

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