Learn How to Prevent Childhood Obesity with These Simple Steps


Learn how to prevent childhood obesity.

When
children are babies, chubby is good. As a baby grows and develops during
infancy, they need a diet high in fat. That fat accumulates in those cute
little rolls we love to squeeze around their thighs, arms, and belly. As they
grow and begin to move around more through crawling and walking, that fat
begins to fall away – at least it should. So, when does it stop being baby fat,
and start being something to be concerned about, like childhood obesity? That’s
something we should all be talking about this September, during National
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

When is My Child’s Weight a Concern?

Did
you know that the rate of childhood obesity in America has doubled
in the last 20 years? In fact, 10 percent of preschool age children are
considered overweight, and the statistics are even higher for children ages
6-11.

Your
pediatrician should monitor your child’s weight and will let you know if childhood obesity is a concern.
But, you really don’t want it to get to the point where you need to make
changes. There are plenty of preventative measures you can take right now to
prevent weight problems in your child’s future. It’s important too, because
childhood obesity can have some serious consequences for children, both physically and mentally.

Issues Linked to Childhood Obesity

  • Low
    Self-Esteem and Depression
  • Social
    Isolation and Issues with Bullying at School
  • Greater
    Risk of Developing Type II Diabetes
  • Respiratory
    Issues: Asthma, Sleep Apnea, Shortness of Breath
  • Greater
    Risk of Obesity in Adulthood
  • Greater
    Risk of Developing Heart Disease

How to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Luckily, there are some fairly simple ways that parents can take control of their child’s weight and prevent the risk of childhood obesity. You don’t want to put your child on a diet, but you should aim to balance the amount of calories they consume with how many they burn while being active and through normal growth. Here are some tips to help make that happen.

Eat a Healthy Diet

  • Vegetables, fruit and whole grains.
  • Calcium through milk and low-fat dairy products.
  • Protein through lean meats, fish, and poultry.

Vitamins, minerals, and omega 3s available through supplements such as chewable multi-vitamins from brands such as Solaray, and fish oil, like the delicious gummy fish from Nordic Naturals.

Encourage Physical Activity (at least 60 minutes per day)

  • Play hide and seek or tag.
  • Participate in organized sports such as soccer, basketball, and dance.
  • Get your child in swimming lessons.
  • Go for family bike rides and walks.

Reduce “Couch” Time

  • Limit “screen time” including TV and electronics.
  • Eat at the table instead of the couch, including during snack time.
  • Play outside after school instead of watching TV.

Childhood obesity is a concern, and definitely something your should be aware of, but it’s very controllable. A little effort on the front end can go a long way towards protecting your child’s health and giving them the best start at a long and healthy life.

What
kinds of things do you like to do as a family to encourage a healthy lifestyle?
Tell us in the comments below.

About Theresa Groskopp, CN

Certified Nutritionist in Appleton, Wisconsin, Founder of Natural Healthy Concepts. Natural health and nutrition advocate. Enjoys gardening, biking, fitness, boating, animals (especially cats), and cooking.
Theresa Groskopp





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