The word ‘obesity’ sounds to be very small but the obesity problem is quite a big one as it may prove life threatening disease. The obesity problem is not only a common problem among adults, but also nowadays children are being the victim of this dangerous disease. Due to the alarm rate of the growth of obesity, the kids are at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and asthma. With the change in lifestyle, playing habits and food habits are some of the factors responsible for the growing rate of obesity. These days playing habits of the children have gone under the drastic changes as parks and playgrounds have been replaced by video games and television. And same is the case with foods like veggies and fruits have been replaced by burger, pizza and other fast foods.
How to Change the Eating Habits of an Obese Child
The obesity among the kids not only creates problems for the child individually, but it held him back to be an introvert personality. Dont let your child to be picky eaters. It is necessary to fix your command on your child’s junk food habits before they become habitual of it. In order to avoid junk foods in their meal, you need to undergo certain changes in your cooking style, schedule and other changes. It is very difficult to make the changes in your food habits instantly, but with proper planning and with better ideas you can make a lot of difference. Obesity among kids is not only bad for them, but also their obesity could be one of the reasons for their introvert attitude as other people might make fun of his heavy body and might not accept him in their social group.
Some of the practical ways to change the eating habits of an obese child:
Don’t Ban junk food outright:
Junk food is most popular among kids and even it became difficult to unhook them. In order to prevent intake of junk food, parents should not directly ban it but reduce the amount of junk food. Full ban on the junk food will force your child to eat from outside and they might be more eager to have it as they love to do those things which are restricted to them.
Avoid buying junk food in bulk:
If you want to buy the junk food for serving as a treat then buy it in smallest possible package rather than bulk. Even if you buy the junk food in bulk amount, keep out of reach of kids so that they dont get tempted for its crispy taste.
Compulsory meal with parents:
Parents should make it a strict schedule for the children to have meal with them only, and they should be made to eat what a parent is eating. Parents should make a rule to choose the menu of the dinner which should be healthy and no substitute for meal should be there. Eating with parents help the parents to keep a watch on eating habits of the children and it also help them to learn how to behave in front of others.
Be more innovative:
In order to make changes in the food habits of your kids, make sure to indulge in some of the innovative ideas. Your meal should be presented in such a way that it makes the children eager to eat it. While making the dish innovative, dont forget that along with innovation it should be full of nutrients.
Cook more food at home:
The first step in making the children habitual of having junk food is the frequency at which you went for the dinner outside. Eating outside once a month doesnt make any difference and affect your health, but if the number increases then you should take it seriously. Try to cook every meal of the day at home and encourage your kids to have food at home only.
Cut out beverages sweetened with sugar:
There is a strong relationship between sugary drinks and obesity. The sugary drinks directly affect the BMI of the body. Encourage them to have more amount of water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or limited amounts of 100% fruit juices.
Make them to eat breakfast everyday:
Another reason for unhealthy intake of junk food is that breakfast is not regularly made at home and later it becomes a habit to have food from outside. In order to avoid this type of habit among your children, make breakfast regularly so that your kids do not skip healthy breakfast of home. One must keep in mind that the best way to start your day is eating healthy breakfast at home.
Make a variety of healthy snacks:
You are solely responsible for making your child’s habit of junk food as they might get bored with same boring snacks. Remember that all the nutrients foods are not boring, so indulge in making some of the variety of healthy snacks at home in order to boost up your child’s confidence and eating habits at home.
Set a meal time table:
Now for the better healthy life of your child, you need to be strict without compromising on their health. Set a meal time table for the whole week along with the snacks time table. In starting your kids may try to drag you emotionally but stay strict on your time table. A child should have three meals and two snacks per day. The healthy snack includes fruits like apple, carrots, etc.
How to Change the Eating Habits of an Obese Child
Promote fruits and vegetables:
Like Dog is man’s best friend, same way fruits and vegetables are the best friend of body as it keeps your body healthy and fit. Try to encourage your kids to have more and more fruits and vegetables. As the growing body of your kids need a lot of vitamins and minerals, and the rich sources of the vitamins are fruits and vegetables. To boost the immune system, carrot is a rich source of vitamin A, spinach is a good source of iron, a mineral that helps prevent anemia, and the list goes on. Intake of fruits and vegetables provides a good amount of nutrients, decrease obesity, make them perform better in academic achievement.
Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV:
Another habit that you need to improve is not to allow the kids to have their food while watching television, because this may lead to over eating.
The meal outside the home should be balanced meal:
As it is not advised to have food from outside but still in certain circumstances where it becomes necessary, keep in mind that your child eat a balanced meal as sometimes excess of food may lead to certain problems.
Limit screen time:
As parents, you should somewhere need to be strict about television’s watching hours. You should keep in mind that more they spend their time after having their meal on the television, the more will be chances of obesity so try to send them to park or playgrounds to play as it will help them to burn the calories. It will not only help them burn their calories, but also help them to be more social and friendly with others.
Be the cheerleader for your kids:
In order to change the food habits of your child, dont show sympathy for not having the junk food but try to encourage them as it will help them to boost up their confidence level and trust in you.
Some of the alternatives for the favorite junk foods of the kids as this will not only help them to enjoy the food but also help in growing healthy food habits:
- Low-fat frozen yogurt, sorbet, fresh fruit smoothies
- Baked fries grilled in the oven and salted lightly
- Bagels; English muffins; home baked goods with less sugar/fat
- Baked or grilled chicken
- Graham crackers, fig bars, vanilla wafers, fruits and caramel dip
- Pretzels, unbuttered popcorn, baked potato chips, soy crisps
- Whole Grain English muffin with peanut butter and 100% fruit preserves
- Make homemade soda with sparkling water and 100% juice
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies