20 Easy Changes to Make that Can Help Prevent Childhood Obesity
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As a parent, are you worried about the rise in childhood obesity? It can feel a bit overwhelming to know where to start making changes. We all know we should exercise more, eat healthily, and get plenty of sleep. But making those changes is sometimes hard to do alone.
Here are the best 20 Changes to Make that Can Help Prevent Childhood Obesity
Leave a little earlier for school drop, park the car 10 minutes further from school and walk the rest of the way into school.
Research what after-school activities that involve exercise or sport are available in your area and get your child to pick one active class to attend.
Children often look up to a celebrity. Find out what form of exercise they do and encourage your child to try that.
Know how much sleep your child needs and ensure bedtime is early enough to allow them what they need.
Interact with your child at bedtime. Don’t use TV or videos as a substitute for you being part of the bedtime routine. A simple thing to do is to read together.
Don’t let your child fall asleep downstairs if possible; they need to learn how to lie in bed and fall asleep naturally.
Limit caffeinated drinks (sodas, hot chocolate) later in the day
Avoid treats and sweets close to bedtime.
Swap juice/diluted juice for water once a week, then increase it to two days.
Instead of Nutella or chocolate spread, try another nut butter, e.g., peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. If your child is allergic to nuts, try sunflower seed spread.
When cooking, think about bulk cooking and freezing to eliminate those days when fast food is introduced due to a busy day.
Include your child in the cooking process; this will make them more likely to eat a healthy meal and gain knowledge of cooking.
Say no when you are in the supermarket to buy treats. Let them choose a piece of fruit or a healthy snack instead. Explain this before you go in, so you set an expectation.
Eat together at the table as often as possible.
Do not reward completion of meals with sweet desserts.
Children need to be encouraged to eat from all parts of the plate but not to finish it unless they are hungry.
Have rules like no technology on in the morning, leaving phones at the end of the table during mealtimes, or switching off all screens after a certain time in the evening.
Don’t comment on your child’s weight; focus on making these small changes.
Complement your child at least once daily (but not focus on the body)
Be a role model. Exercise and allow your child to see you do so.
Ahmed Ragab is a fourth-year student at Cairo University, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in physical therapy. He is a passionate email marketer, who helps develop original email marketing strategies.