The need for children to fuss over studies to stand out in the competitive world, lack of play area and friends have left no resort for children rather than accepting the sedentary lifestyle. Sitting in front of TV, digital games, studying all take up maximum part of your child’s day which renders him with a bulging waist line. More and more children are becoming obese and grow up to be adults with multiple health problems. Infact childhood obesity is termed as a global phenomenon affecting young kids and adolescents world wide, with 1 in every 10 children being obese (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3028965/) Extra chubby cheeks can be easy targets for bully and have lowered self esteem. This may hurt their confidence and interfere with their development.
Top 10 Causes Of Childhood Obesity
If you swear that you provide optimum nutrition for your child, see how below habits can still play havoc with your kid’s health and make him obese:
- Feeding instant foods: Juggling home and career is no child’s play! Due to lack of time or when children press for cook be served quickly, one can often be tempted to feed them with quick snacks. It could be 2 minute noodles, hot pot noodles or simply frying the frozen stuff. Such food is prepared in no time, with zero hassle and tastes yumm too. Such instant foods are laden with preservatives, MSG, refined flour and chemicals. These are hazardous for your child’s health and contribute to weight gain. Not to forget that these foodstuffs are easily addictive!
- Developing their taste: How you loved going to McDonalds and to keep your child busy you fed him a French fry? Your child probably fell in love with fries since then. After that it becomes their comfort food and demand it to behave. So start feeding healthy stuff to your kids early. Dealing with your child’s food demands can really be challenging. Good habits start early and will remain for an individual through the life
- Be a good role model: Imitation is the top source of learning in young children. They closely observe you and copy you when you are not around. Why not exercise, eat healthy and become your kid’s inspiration? Best is to involve them in physical activities along with you or allot them domestic chores. This could be as simple as helping you separate methi leaves or arranging dinner table. Its a great way to bond as well
- Make outdoor activities fun: Your children perceive you as unpleasant when you nag or insult them. Instead of using harsh words for their weight gain and screaming on them to go out and do a bit of run, organize outdoor activities for them. Sadly kids do not have many local neighborhood friends anymore. So become their play buddy, go out for excursions, camps, picnics and see them moving
- Using dessert or junk as reward: If you bribe your kids with a special truffle pastry or royale burger in turn for good behavior or grades then again you are instilling and promoting unhealthy eating habits. You will definitely agree that the foods used as reward are either fried or too sweet. These unhealthy foods are then viewed as special and then they want to indulge in these foods only. Here’s how to get rid of your child’s sweet obsession
- Inadequate sleep: Inadequate sleep has been linked to disrupt hormones responsible for metabolism. We know you kid has loads of projects and studies to complete but missing sleep causes unwanted changes in health. Watching late night TV or studies followed by hunger can all contribute to overeating
- Imposing the ‘clean plate’ rule: When you become upset with your child for leaving stuff back on plate you are showing displeasure. So even if your child is full he would be forced to eat the remaining food. In this way, what his body signals goes unnoticed and he continues to eat. If this continues for long, your child will become accustomed to eating more than the body requires. He will overeat
- Weak breakfast: If your kid simply had a toast or just a glass of milk, he is likely to feel hungry soon. In such a situation, he will be attracted to whatever he could lay his hands on. If there is school canteen then you what they serve – deep fried samosas, kachoris, burgers, wada pav and what not! Serve your kid with a wholesome breakfast followed by a glass of his favorite chocolate milk
- Too much screen time: Yes kids do have their shows to watch and little fun is not damaging at all! But when you allow your kids to watch Television for hours or play on iPads or phones, then the time they should have been spending frolicking outdoors is being taken up slouched on the couch! There is scientific evidence that an individual eats more when meals are consumed watching television. Click here to read about striking the balance between the screen and the green.
- Storing junk snacks at home: Kids are naive. They can be easily swayed by the advertisements on TV and bright packaging of cookies and candies attract them. If you store junk snacks made up of processed flour and sugar laden with preservatives and artificial flavors, kids will look forward to munch on them. Even if they are not hungry they will want to have them, thereby contributing to extra calories and fat intake. Keep fruits and homemade snacks available for your kids to snack on if you are not around. Hand them roasted seeds or nuts instead!. Click here to read about harmful effects of junk food on kids
Do not criticize or make fun of your child’s weight gain. This may lead to unnecessary feeling of contempt towards you and lower his self esteem. Take out time for your child, understand if there is any stress and watch his eating patterns. It’s a good idea to eat together and have a merry time.
“The family that eats together, stays together!”
Click here to read about Top 10 Tips To Prevent Obesity In Kids.