Six Tips for preventing Obesity in Children


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Most of developing and developed countries are affected by obesity in children.
Last year, BBC reported that in the UK, one in three children is overweight while one in five is obese.
It seems that childhood obesity is becoming the new norm.

We surely must react now before it’s getting worse. In my last post, I mentioned a few facts and consequences about childhood obesity.

Of course, as a parent or carer you want what’s best for your child. My goal is to offer my child a good foundation in term of healthy diet. So that he can enjoy a long and healthy life.

Here are six tips and advises to prevent childhood obesity.


Tip 1: Eating Fish more often

Introduce more fish in your diet have a lot of advantage for you and your child health.
In my childhood, we used to eat fish every single day except on Sunday.
We ate meats on Sunday only and mainly white meat such as chicken and turkey.
And I can tell you I was never sick. Well, only a couple times. I had once dengue fever, a tropical disease. And another time, it was mumps. It was nothing major and nothing to worry about.

I am currently reading a very good book called Secrets of the world’s healthiest children by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle. They talked about how the Japanese diet habit is based on more good fats coming from fish than from meat.
Eating lots of fish regularly means high intake of omega 3 fats (the good fats) is believed to prevent certain forms of heart disease.
You might know that Japan is a big fish and seafood consumption nation.
Even though the seafood and fish market have decreased in recent years due to different factors, Japan is still the second-largest fish and importer in the world.
Studies made by Lancet, implies that a child born in Japan today is expected to have a longer healthy life than a child born in another country.
Could the fish be the reason of such claim?
Anyway, avoid eating fish such as swordfish, marlin and shark as they might accumulate large amount of pollutant from the fish they prey on.
Obviously, when cooking fish, we should go for the healthier option like steamed, backed or grilled.


Tip 2: Avoid buying unhealthy snack

Unhealthy snack are sweets, crisps, cakes and biscuits, etc. These foods are poor in nutrient and high in calorie. The best is to keep them away from your home so that your child cannot get them.
You know how it is! As long as you have them in your cupboard, you are more likely to give them to your children. Or depending on their age, they can just help themselves. If you don’t buy the junk they cannot get it.
However, they can still enjoy these snacks from time to time while being outside. The idea is not banning these foods totally from their life because you might create an opposite effect. They might be obsessed to eat them since they are not allowed to have them. That’s the human’s nature!


Tip 3: Exposing children to new foods

My son loves eating bananas but it doesn’t mean that he wants to have it every day. Same for the main dish, even if he loves eating certain foods today like fish, chicken or potatoes he might not been in the mood the week after for eating the exact same foods.
So, I’ve introduced new foods such as couscous, lentils and quinoa.
I hope by offering new taste to my son on an early age will help him to enjoy quality and healthy food through his life.


Tip 4: Reduce food quantity

In some families, there is a tendency to serve food in a big quantity even for children. In addition to this, some parents insist that their children must finish the plate.
It is definitely not very helpful because you are forcing your child to eat more than he can or want to.
Unfortunately, when grown up, if this habit is not corrected, he or she will continue to get big proportion of food and will want to eat all.
I generally offer a fair amount of food to my son. I don’t force him to finish the plate. Sometimes, he hands the plate to me as to indicate that he wants more. So, only him knows if he is full or not.


Tip 5: Encourage Outdoor Activity with the family

Nowadays, children seem to be more sedentary than previous generations.
I grew up in the Caribbean with my siblings and cousins we used to play outside all day long. None of us was overweight because we used to run in the fields, jump out of a tree or swim to the sea close by. We were never inactive because there was so much to do to have fun.
I suppose I was lucky to grow up in such environment.
So, I imagine for families living in town like myself now with my son, playgrounds and park seem to be the places to go for physical activities.
However, other places such as forests can be a great way to enjoy activity with the whole family. We are lucky to live near a forest and we went the other day there, my son looked amazed to be surrounded by trees. He did not want us to hold his hands. He just wanted to walk by himself. He seems so happy to be there.
Also, families can enjoy a ride on bicycle with their older children. Nice and long walk through the forest can encourage communication between members of the families.


Tip 6: Reducing Tv/Screen watching

My son is still young to spend hours in front of TV or playing games but I have to prevent him to do so later on.
Spending long hours in front of a screen have two disadvantages. First, your child is more likely willing to eat more snacks, fizzy drinks and junk foods.
And second, by seating in front of a screen he or she has less chance to move very much. So, they would be more likely to put on weight.
Screens are quite addictive the more you spend time watching it the more you feel like you want to eat something unhealthy like crisps, ice-cream or chocolate.
Therefore, as a parent, we have to be in control and reduce the time spend playing games or watching television.
We have to be inventive and find alternative to avoid boredom.
In conclusion, obesity in children is a disease that shall not be taken lightly. We all want to have healthy children. But, we have to be firm in our way we manage what we put in our children’s plate, and what other alternative we offer them instead of video game or watching TV.
What are your thoughts and tips to prevent child obesity? Please share what you have to say. Thank you in advance.



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