Child obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Approximately 16 percent of all American children are considered obese, and 32 percent are overweight. American children clearly have a problem, one that can seem too big for many families to overcome. Fortunately, there are ways to fight against obesity in your child. It does involve changing a lot of habits, but making these changes are not as difficult as you might think. Here are just a few simple things you can do to help your children stay healthy and fit.
Plan to Eat More Meals as a Family
One of the biggest reasons why obesity is such a big problem in children and teenagers is because many families don’t make the time to eat meals together. That may sound strange, but children who are left to their own devices when it comes to mealtime will be more likely to seek out unhealthier foods such as soda, candy, chips and other sugary and fatty snack foods. Parents who don’t have the time to prepare a healthy meal will also be more likely to resort to fast food or prepackaged processed meals for their families.
Planning out meals and eating them as a family will ensure that children will have a more balanced diet and be less likely to seek out unhealthier alternatives. You don’t need to plan an elaborate dinner every evening, but eating well a few evenings a week will help children develop healthier eating habits.
Replace Chips and Soda
Instead of buying chips, soda and other junk food for your children to snack on after school, consider buying healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains that can be eaten between meals. Juice should also be limited as well since it still has plenty of calories and sugar despite being healthier than soda. Have some filtered water in your refrigerator so it’s available when someone wants a cold drink.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to combat obesity, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. For many children, exercise is merely play. It happens on playgrounds during recess, it happens after school when children ride their bikes and it happens when they play sports with their friends. Physical play is fun, and you can encourage it by taking your children to a nearby park, going with them on walks and bike rides and taking them to indoor play areas when the weather outside isn’t so great. Indoor playgrounds for kids and other kinds of play places are perfect for children who need to get some exercise during the winter, so look around your neighborhood to see if there are any near you.
Turn Off the Television
Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between how much time children spend in front of the television and their risk of obesity. Not only is watching TV a sedentary activity, many people young and old tend to mindlessly eat snacks while they watch their favorite TV shows. Spending an hour or so watching TV or playing video games is okay, but you should be able to step in and turn the television off after a while.
Keeping your child active is the best way to keep your child fit and healthy. Give you child the opportunity to not only play and stay activity, but also to learn and grow by taking to Kid Junction. Chantilly’s best indoor playground, Kid Junction provides children with a vast playground to run around and explore their creativity and imagination. Just one trip to the indoor playground will have your child begging for me. Keep your child active and healthy, and take a trip to Kid Junction today!