In today’s world where you can find a McDonald’s on every corner, a TV in every room of the house and a game controller attached to the hand of every kid you meet, it’s no surprise that the epidemic of obesity is on the rise…and it is wreaking havoc on the lives of children across the country. As a parent, the health of your children is in your hands—so to make sure your kiddos don’t succumb to the unhealthy habits that have become a part of our modern day society, be sure to check out the following tips for preventing childhood obesity:
Create a routine. Sure, with lives that make us slaves to school, work, extra-curricular activities and a slew of other items that fill up every date on the calendar, it can be difficult not to succumb to unhealthy practices when all you want to do after a long day is swing by the drive-thru and call it a night. But doing this will only increase the likelihood of childhood obesity for your kids. A great way to keep this problem at bay is by putting a strict routine in place for your family. Make health a priority by creating a schedule around planned meals at home, regular physical activity, and the catching of plenty of Z’s each night so that your kids will have plenty of energy to burn the next day.
Make it a family affair. What better way to get healthy than by spending time together as a family? So in an effort to teach your kids healthy ways, get everyone under your roof involved! Prepare meals together and be sure to give your kids special tasks so that they feel included in contributing something to the meal. Join a gym, go for walks and take up other physical activities in which every member of your family can join in on and have fun bonding at the same time!
Turn off the TV. One of the largest contributors in the downfall of kids’ health these days in that brand new plasma screen that takes up more than half of the wall in your family room. Combat childhood obesity by making a rule that there are only a set number of hours that can be spent watching TV in your home each week—and as much as your kids might freak out, consider turning it off completely over the weekends. Teach your offspring that there is a great big world outside of a television run by the Kardashians and Call of Duty. Encourage them to get active by enrolling them in sports and other activities that will get them moving. And hey, if it comes down to it, lock them out of the house…except if it’s raining, of course!
Be a role model. As a parent, you are the greatest hero to your kids—even greater than Superman! They look up to you and intimidate just about every little thing you do (as some of you might be far too well aware after you’ve heard your child repeat a few questionable four letter words that you’ve been guilty of dropping while stuck in early morning traffic on the way to daycare). Because of this, it’s imperative to be the best role model you can be—especially when it comes to warding off weight gain by eating right and exercising. Show your kids early on that taking care of your body is essential to a long, happy life and those lessons are sure to be instilled with them as they grow up.
Cindy McDonald is a guest post author who enjoys writing about healthy lifestyle practices. In addition, Cindy also owns Christian Dating Sites where she focuses on educating the Christian community about safe methods of online dating.