Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States today. One out of five children are obese and the numbers are continuing to grow. Lack of activity and an improper diet are mainly to blame for this alarming epidemic. Hereditary factors represent a small portion of the cause.
The average child spends approximately four hours a day watching TV. As computers and video games become more popular, the number of hours of inactivity increases even more. The flooding of the market with new innovative gadgets and games gives our children many excuses to stay inside. It is our responsibility as parents to get them outside and instill healthy habits into our children.
With all the advances in electronics these days, we all scramble to the stores to acquire that latest craze in the industry. Is that latest version Nintendo game in control of your child or is your child in control of the video game?
Set some rules for your children by limiting the time spent playing video games or watching TV. Encourage them to get outdoors for some physical activities. Take them to the park and throw a ball or Frisbee with them. Riding a Schwinn bike is a good way to get the blood pumping and get into shape. Getting them outdoors helps them to develop stronger relationships with others and promotes better self-worth.
I would discourage the use of headphones. You see it everywhere, kids with headphones practically glued to their heads in their own little world. For one thing, you don't know what they are listening to. A lot of lyrics children hear these days are violent and put thoughts in their heads that should never have been thought of in the first place. They are also distracted from their immediate surroundings which could cause harm to their person.
Diet and nutrition are very important for your childs' healthy development. Try to have your child eat three meals a day consisting of all five food groups. Steer away from processed, greasy and fried foods. Limit or avoid sodas, fruit drinks and snacks such as potato chips, cake, ice cream and candy. Have healthy snacks, fruits and juices available for your child.
Talk to your children. Your children need you to be involved in their lives. Children need to know what mom and dad think about the choices they make. Your input can go a long way in them feeling good about themselves.