The fact that 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese is worrying and means that as parents we need to pay particular attention to what we are feeding our children. Food and nutrition can be a tricky subject, because you want to make sure you are feeding and nourishing your child enough without overfeeding them. You want them to enjoy their favorite foods while being mindful of the dangers of over-indulging in unhealthy foods. You want to reward them when they have done something well, but you are also aware of the dangers of too much candy and chocolate. We get it, and this is why we have this article for you to help you find the balance.
Firstly, building a foundation for a healthy relationship with food is one of the best things you can do for your children. Constantly enforcing that food, specifically unhealthy food, is the only and best reward for their achievements is not what you should be doing. There are plenty of other choices when it comes to rewarding children that will benefit their mental and physical growth, read more about healthier treat options here.
Encouraging physical activity from a young age is also a great leap towards a healthier weight for your child. By helping them find the sport they love, your child will become fitter and more physically active. Always encourage them to experiment as much as they want until you find a form of exercise that fits for both you and them.
Counting calories isn’t necessary at such a young age, but building the foundations for healthy eating habits and teaching your kids the basics of eating well are. If you are finding it hard to deprive your child of the foods they love, but you want them to start being healthier, a great place to start is by introducing healthy foods, rather than cutting out unhealthy foods cold turkey. Start off by increasing their intake of fruit and vegetables, one food at a time, and once they start loving the healthy food, talk and communicate with them about how they should eat this food more often and cut down on the unhealthy food. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach.
Lastly, the best tip we have for you is to lead by example as a parent. Asking something of your child that you don’t do yourself will lead to very disappointing results. Practice what you preach by eating wholesome food, being physically active, and generally living a balanced lifestyle. If there are no French fries on your plate, your child won’t be tempted to eat them!