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6 tips to protect your child from obesity

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Child Obesity: You’ve likely heard that childhood obesity is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trusted Source (CDC), over the past 30 years, the number of kids who are obese has almost doubled. Have you ever worried that this trend might affect your kids?

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Take action to reduce your child’s risk with these 6 tips. You can help your children become more active, eat a healthier diet, and potentially even improve their self-esteem by practicing these strategies to prevent childhood obesity.

# Provide nutritious meals and snacks

Healthy meals and snacks provide nutrition for growing bodies while modeling healthy eating behavior and attitudes. Focus on balanced nutrition – fruits, vegetables, grains, low-sugar cereals, low fat dairy products, and lean meats. Establish daily meal and snack times, and plan family meals as frequently as possible. Plan sensible portions.

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# Encourage kids to exercise regularly

Physical activity reduces health risks and helps weight management. Participate in family exercises and games on a regular basis, such as walks, running, bike rides, hikes, swimming, and active games and sports. This is an exciting and interesting way of involving inactive kids to step out of the house. Exercise keeps kids moving which burns calories, builds strong muscles, and prevents putting on unnecessary weight.

# Be a role model

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Make sure that you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to maintain your weight before you set out to do the same with your child. Don’t expect your child to do something you are unwilling to do for yourself. Parents who make an attempt to eat well-balanced and nutritious meals have a positive impact on young ones who always try to emulate their parents.

# Reduce sedentary activities

Limit the amount of time children spend in front of screens like television, video consoles, tablets and computer to ideally a maximum of 1 hour per day. This will encourage kids to be on their feet, to play and lose excess weight. Screen fixation is a habit difficult to break, which eventually leads kids towards a sedentary lifestyle, further inducing the risk of lifestyle diseases.

# Provide 5-6 smaller and frequent meals

Instead of fixing 3 big meals a day like breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is healthier to administer 5 to 6 smaller meals. Smaller and frequent meals control body’s blood sugar. This in turn, controls the cravings for unhealthy simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies and chocolates, keeping the weight under check.

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# Discourage eating meals while watching TV

Eating in front of the TV makes it difficult for the child to pay attention to feelings of fullness. This may lead to mindless overeating, which in turn, may lead to obesity.

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