It is alarming that so many children are obese or along the path to becoming obese. Why are we allowing the poor children of today to live certain lifestyles that encourage poor nutrition with limited if any exercise? A recent study lead Dr. Geetha Raghuveer, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine, exposed that half of the children involved had arteries comparable to middle aged people. Children don't just start growing inefficient arteries; these clogged arteries are a direct result to an unhealthy life style.
The root of Obesity¬†within the home. As a parent you must size your responsibility to teach your precious children how to live healthily. Children want to be like adults, they play make believe becoming mums and dads, doctors, firemen, school teachers, the list is endless. The fact is children are constantly looking for examples to follow. Now, there are many adults whether in your neighborhood, at school, on the television that you wouldn't want your child to be like and therefore it is essential to make sure that as a parent you are setting the best example possible.
You might think "it's so hard to teach health when my children are exposed to bad healthy choices all the time," the fact is your child will learn how to be healthy by copying you! Children copy what they observe. If you are constantly chugging down bottles of carbonated drink and eating an obscene amount of chocolate that is what your child will try and if your child likes it then it will become a habit. This type of habit will add weight, drain energy, disturb sleeping patterns, damage organs and age their body. If you struggle with attaining a healthy life style do not give up, seek help because the quality of your health and your children's health is largely at risk.
Tips on setting a healthy example
- Educate yourself. Learn about nutrition. By reading books, articles, and blogs you can gain great ideas on improving your nutrition. Look at your diet and determine what is good and what needs to go. Over time slowly adjust your diet; a gradual transition will help you maintain the new and imporved changes.
- Buy lots of healthy alternatives and have them visually located in the kitchen. The more a person is exposed to a food the greater the change they will eat it and start enjoying it. Casually have a bowl of nuts or carrot sticks on the kitchen table, before you know it you and your kids will by re-fueling your bodies with nutritious foods.
- Be more active. Don't drive everywhere. Avoid asking your kids to go fetch something from the other side if the room, instead get up and demonstrate activity.
- Exercise with your children. Go on walks together, swim together, run together, play sports together. If your children see that exercise is important and fun they will love it.
- Involve your children in cooking. As mentioned earlier children love to copy and do adult things, cooking is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to have quality time together while learning about nutrition. Often children won't eat certain foods at the dinner table due to their desire to exercise their independence. When cooking children will try the foods and be more inclined to eat it.
- Talk about health. When you are eating healthy foods or exercising explain to your children why it is important. You can teach them little interesting facts about nutrition and exercise and transform it into a game, for example when you are at the dinner table you could quiz you 7 year old by asking:
- What food groups are on their plate?
- Name four carbohydrates you ate today?
- How many fruit and vegetables should you eat daily?
- What's your favorite source of protein?
- Use visual images to stimulate a love for health. Take photos of your children being active and display them. Allow your children to photography food they have helped make and display it on the fridge.
- Try to avoid focusing on being thin or fat rather focus on being healthy.
By seizing your responsibility to teach health within the home you will provide tools for your children to live healthily. It will also enhance your relationship, teach patience, self discipline and fuel them will boundless energy to accomplish anything. Don't let your child develop clogged arteries after only thirteen years of life. Healthy living is the key to happiness so don't wait, start now and ensure that blood is flushing beautifully through all of your children's and your own arteries.
By Worldwidehealth Editor
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.