The rate of weight problems and obesity in children is increasing at a tremendous rate in the United States. When children gain extra weight it puts them at risk of suffering from massive health disorders like heart disease, diabetes and asthma. When children become obese, it has an emotional impact on their behavior. Overweight kids are often teased and kept aside from sport activities. This often leads to negative body image, lower self-esteem, depression and much more. With the right encouragement and support along with becoming a positive role model, you can help you children to follow a healthy diet and bring their weight problems under control.
Weight Problems in Children & Its Health Effects
Children with weight problems are at a larger threat of developing serious health issues like:
- High blood pressure
- Bone and joint problems
- Liver and gall bladder disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Restless or messy sleeping patterns
- High cholesterol
- Lower self-esteem and depression.
Children who are gloomy about their weight are likely to fall into the clutches of substance abuse and eating disorders as well. Recognizing and treating the problems associated with obesity and overweight in children should be done as soon as it is observed. This may reduce the threat of suffering from serious medical situations and other health risks as they grow older. Whatever might be their weight, you must always tell them that you love them and you are only helping them out in staying fit as well as healthy.
6 Natural Ways to Treat Childhood Obesity
Getting the Whole Family Involved is a Natural Way to Treat Childhood Obesity
Healthy eating habits begin at home. The best way to prevent or fight obesity problems in children is to set the whole family on the track of adopting healthy eating. Making better choices about food and staying physically active can benefit all the members of the family. When this routine is maintained, it will be easier for your child to handle their overweight and make some significant changes.
- What you consume: Speak to your child all about the healthy food that you are consuming, when it is being served. You may state, "I'm eating broccoli with butter garlic sauce. Will you have a crunchy bite of it?"
- When you cook: Try to cook something healthy when you are with the children. Involve them in the kitchen so that you can speak to them about the things you cook and its impact on your body.
- How you move: Begin with exercise in one way or the other. Try to incorporate all those healthy activities that your children enjoy. While enjoying, speak to them about the benefits that come along.
- Your leisure time: Avoid watching television or sitting in front of the computer at all times. Children do not tend to put on the television screen if you involve them in things that you are doing in your free time.
Stimulating Healthy Eating Habits Treat Childhood Obesity Naturally
Begin with healthy eating as a part of the family meal. Always keep in mind that you are a role model to your children and they will follow or imitate what you are doing without much thinking on it. It is imperative to imbibe the idea of eating healthy food while being at home or staying away from it. Encouraging healthy eating habits is a natural way to treat childhood obesity.
When you are trying to help your children to cope with obesity, help him or her to form a healthy relation with the foods that are being eaten. You may have to make certain changes in your eating habits.
- Eat the rainbow colored foods. Serve and persuade your kids to eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. This can include red, orange, yellow, green and other colors of vegetables as well as fruits.
- Make breakfast a main concern. Children who tend to have a complete breakfast are often not obese and overweight as compared to those who often skip their morning meal. It is extremely important for one to make healthy choices while eating, which include fresh fruits, oatmeal, cereal grains rich in fiber and have less sugar. Avoid giving them foods that are sugary, donuts and pastries.
- Cut back on fat content. Even if your child is not overweight or fat, ensure that the fats which are included in the meals are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, and come from is sources like nuts, fish and vegetable oils. Do not include excessive amounts of sweets, junk food and fast food.
- Limit the restaurant dining time. If you are eating out on special occasion, try avoiding fast foods and adopt healthy choices while prepping a meal at home.
Being Smart about Snacks and Sugary Food can Help Tackle Childhood Obesity Naturally
Your home is where your child spends most of his time eating snacks or meals, so it is important to include healthy treats in your kitchen. Becoming smart about snacks and sugary food is a natural way to treat childhood obesity.
- Do not eliminate sweets completely. While sugar consumption in most kids exceeds the limits that are necessary, completely eliminating the sugar can give rise to cravings. There are chances of them being overindulged in sugary foods whenever they find a chance. Instead, put certain limits on consumption of candies, cookies or baked items and make your children aware of a tasty snack that is fruit based.
- Limit drinking of juice and soda. There is a huge amount of sugar in soft drinks and these calories do no good to your child's body. Most juices are not better when compared on the basis of nutritional value that comes from real fruits. So encourage your children to eat tangerine oranges or Satsuma. Ask your child to drink sparkling water with a hint of lime and fresh mint along with a splash of fruit juice.
- Keep snacks petite. Do not try turning snacks into a fulltime meal. Limit their portion to 100 to 150 calories.
- Go for low sugar foods. When shopping for sauces, jellies and syrups look into food labels that show no added sugar or reduced sugar.
- Focus on including lots of fruits. Place a bowl of fruits aside for your kid so that they can munch on it instead of unhealthy snacks. You can make it interesting by including sliced apples with peanut butter, strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream, fruit smoothies, fresh fruit added to plain yogurt, nuts and chocolate dipped frozen bananas.
- Try including various spices and herbs. Use spices and herbs that are sweet tasting like cinnamon, mint, nutmeg or allspice to add natural sweetness to food and eliminate those empty calories.
Watching Portion Sizes is a Natural Way to Treat Childhood Obesity
You can employ certain strategies to retrain your child's appetite and avoid them from eating oversized portion of food when they are having a meal. By watching portion sizes you will naturally treat childhood obesity.
- Learn about the regular portion of food and how it looks like. The size and the portion of food that your family eats can be limited to adopt healthy eating habits.
- Practice reading food labels. Food labels have all the information about the calories that come per serving when the food from the packet is eaten. The amount of calories that come from a single portion of the dish may mesmerize you completely.
- Use dishes that are smaller in size. When you use smaller plates or bowls, the food portions may seem bigger and you will eventually eat less.
- Place the food in the plates right after they are cooked. To avoid food temptations, indulge in serving food in plates rather than laying the plates on the dining table.
- Break up food that comes in huge packages into small bowls. The bigger the food package, the extra amount is eaten by people without any realization.
- Cut back on food orders. When dining in a restaurant, share the starters with your kid or ask for an appetizer on the contrary. Order meals that are half sized rather than a large meal.
Getting your Children Moving is a Natural Way to Treat Childhood Obesity
Children who are always couch ridden and seldom move from their place are at a greater risk of becoming obese. Children often need a regular exercise to stay fit. Instead of involving the kids in rigorous body training, try incorporating small physical moves or activities in the normal routine. By getting your children moving, you will treat childhood obesity naturally.
In the older days, children used to occupy all the empty streets and play around, which eventually rendered all the exercise that is needed in their age. These days, this is not an alternative. If you are not comfortable to let your kids play in the open, you may include the following things to boost their performance level.
- Participate in active games that can be played indoors. Keep the television remote aside and try organizing some activities that can be played indoors. This can include, hide- and-seek, Simon says which involves stretches and jumping jacks and many others.
- Go for a walk or step outside the house with your kid. Try taking a walk together or take your kid for a bike ride in the near park.
- Try doing chores together. Your kid may not be the first preference, but being a part of the household chores can be an effective way to include some exercising. Sweeping, dusting, mopping or vacuuming can help in burning too many calories.
- Sign up your children in sports activities or other after school programs. You can sign your kids up for the after school activities when you are trying to make them play or exercise.
- Try to go for a 5 or 10 km walk or run with your kid. Sometimes, by setting specific goals, you can motivate your kids to be physically fit.
Reducing TV Time is a Natural Way to Treat Childhood Obesity
The more your children spend time in playing video games, watching television or surfing the internet, the less they will spend on active things. Limit the time on computer and television, as it will let them be physically active. When you instill good habits, your kids may have a positive attitude towards staying fit. By reducing the on screen time you will naturally treat childhood obesity.
- Stop dining in front of the TV. Limit the amount of calorie intake for your child by putting certain limits on the amount of time spent in front of the TV.
- Try including different punishment or reward. Instead of rewarding the kid with more television time or internet surfing, try promising over a physical activity or an outing of their liking.