Child obesity is rapidly increasing, compromising the very futures of millions of American children. Not only can obesity significantly impact your children's health when they are younger, but it can also have repercussions later down the road, once they reach adulthood. To ensure that your child or children are living their “best lives,” start these suggestions that will introduce your child to healthier habits.
Start each day with a healthy breakfast.
Studies show that a breakfast low in sugar and high in protein can give your child an energy boost that will last throughout the whole morning. Having breakfast has also been proven to enhance academic performance. Instead of allowing children to consume sugary cereals or fruit juices, choose eggs, lean protein (like turkey sausage), or Greek yogurt.
Cut down on junk food and offer healthy snacks.
No surprise here – healthy snacking is key to better overall health. Stock your kitchen with cut-up vegetables and fruit instead of chips and candy. Other easy snack ideas include whole-grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, light popcorn, baked chips and low-fat dip, nuts, granola bars, and raisins.
Limit screen time to less than two hours per day.
Kids that spend too much time in front of screens tend to be less physically active. If your child often uses the computer, plays video games, and/or watches television, find a way to reduce screen time. One of the best ways to do this is by setting a schedule for screen time. You may also want to use a timer, so your kids know how much time they are allowed each day.
Get moving … and don’t stop!
Daily play outdoors, riding a bike, playing tag, or walking the dog are all ways to increase your child's activity level. Doing physical activity every day will help your child manage his or her weight easily and has been shown to help reduce stress levels. Plus, researchers have found that adults, who were more active as children, have a lower risk of several metabolic diseases, including diabetes, later in life.
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