Children and Obesity

Article - Defining Childhood Overweight and Obesity

Reports state that more than 17% of children are now overweight. This is an alarming number and at Get Fit Families, we are working to tackle that problem. Children these days are faced with “adult” diseases like high blood pressure, high sugar, high cholesterol and more. More than ever, it’s important to watch what our kids are doing and what our kids are eating so these problems don’t get worse.

 

How do we do this?

 

Get our kids active!

  • Participate in sports

  • Play outside

  • Get away from the TV

  • Get away from the computer

  • Get away from the video games

  • Set a good example for your kids. If you’re active, they’ll be active.

 

Eat right!

  • Eat at home

  • Stay away from microwave meals

  • Teach your kids how to cook and how to eat healthy

  • Plant a garden

  • Watch fast food and take out meals

  • Pack healthy lunches

  • Let your kids see you eating healthy

  • Always have healthy snacks out around the house

    • We always have carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, berries, apple slices, orange slices, or healthy cheeses out when we’re home. Your child may eat less at breakfast lunch or dinner, but it prevents them from overeating on the bad stuff and they get more healthy food in their bodies.

    • Watch what they drink. Keep soda pop out of the house. The kids should drink a lot of water, milk and even chocolate milk. Other flavored options include quality orange juice, G2 Gatorade or Propel water. Both are lower in sugar than fruit juices and regular Gatorade.

 

A few things to think about…

  • What do you cook? Is it healthy?

  • What do you like to eat?

  • Are you setting a good example for your kids?

  • If you’re out at a restaurant, what do you order off the menu? Is it healthy?

  • What do your kids order? Do you encourage them to make healthy choices?

  • For example, do your kids eat fried chicken strips over grilled chicken? Will they only eat mac n’ cheese or pizza? It’s important for your kids to know there are other choices.

 

One thing our family doesn’t do is skimp on food. I always say I would rather live in a smaller house than to give up the good food.

  • What you put in your body is one of the most important decisions you make every day. Don’t take it lightly.

  • This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy food. Like I said under the nutrition section, food is a passion for me. I love food. I could never give up apple pie or chocolate. Don’t deny your children the fun foods in life, but remember how important balance is. Also remember the more you tell your child they can’t eat something, the more they’ll want it. You need to teach your children to enjoy healthy foods, but let them understand they can still have some ice cream or chocolate on occasion. It just shouldn’t replace the important foods.

 

Have fun with your food.

  • Teach your child to cook. If your child makes the food, they are more likely to eat the food. Our 5 year old son loves to cook. He loves to make healthy foods. In fact, he doesn’t know how to make any unhealthy foods. We just don’t teach him how to make those recipes. That’s why when we go out to a restaurant he orders a steak, fish or chicken with a salad and a vegetable. He chooses and he usually makes the right choice. On occasion he’ll ask for chicken tenders or pizza. When he does, we let him have it. It obviously means he’s craving it for a reason.

 

These are important things to remember when you are planning your child’s diet. Remember, you’ve let them develop the eating habits they have. It won’t be easy to change them, but once you do, you’ll see a big difference in their energy and in the weight and most of all their overall health.