Healthy habits are a learned behavior. As parents it is our responsibility to teach them good habits that will last a lifetime.
KidsHealth® by Nemours states,
The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese.
Children become obese because parents are not offering a well- balanced diet, healthy portions, limiting junk food and providing plenty of opportunity to exercise. NO EXCUSES!
In my home I try to offer a well-balanced meal everyday. This meal contains a meat or other source of protein, a vegetable or salad, carbohydrate and a glass of milk. I keep fresh fruits and whole grain snacks for us to eat throughout the day. We do not keep potato chips, chocolate, soda or other sugary items in our home. When we go to a movie, visit a restaurant or go on a family outing we may offer them a treat or two to enjoy.
Good food is not enough, we need to offer a variety of exercise, at least 60 minutes a day. This is easiest done by limiting your child’s TV, video game and computer time. As a child I rode my bike and walked everywhere. Resources were limited growing up but my parents got very creative to keep me active. Exercise does not need to be expensive. The goal is to get them moving and having fun.
If your child is not interested in the typical sports such as football, dance, baseball, cheer and soccer consider these not so common activities:
- horseback riding
- ice skating / roller skating
- family walks
Get creative and let your children make the choice. Children are more likely to get involved when they are involved in something that appeals to them.
Healthy habits can be taught from the very beginning. The lesson is learned quicker when Mom’s and Dad’s are leading the way. Our children can follow in our footsteps when we model good eating habits and staying active.
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