The habits that we learn as children tend to stay with us into adult life. Parents are the providers, the nurturers and mentors and if you lead by example and take control of what’s in the pantry and fridge and make healthy choices for meals and snacks you can turn an unhealthy child into a healthy happy kid so let’s help them as much as we can.
It’s not fun being an over weight adult but for a child it can damage them for life. I know because I was once a fat kid. So what are some of the consequences of being an overweight child? Stretch marks, early puberty, unable to wear the clothes that their friends are wearing, eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, acne, greasy limp hair, lack of energy, hard to get a boyfriend or girlfriend, bullying at school, low self esteem and finally depression and possible suicide…
Here are 7 tips to keep your kids healthy & help ensure they get the best possible start
- Eating habits are often set in the first few years of life. Do not force your child to finish what is on their plate. Let them recognise the signs of when they are full.
- Kids drink too many sweet drinks. A can of soft drink has around 9 teaspoons of sugar. Replace sugary drinks such as soft drinks and juice with water. If this doesn’t go over well, then add diet cordial to the water.
- When serving up meals for children, remember their stomach is much smaller than ours. You should be able to see the difference between your serve to theirs.
- Get them away from the TV and computer. Enrol them into a sport or encourage them to go walking with you before school or after dinner.
- Keep a plentiful supply of fresh fruits, canned fruit in natural juice, low joule jellies, yoghurts, rice crackers, and pretzels to name just a few for snacking. The ideal snack should be low in fat and sugar.
- It’s not recommended to give skim milk to children under 3. For older children physical skim has more calcium and hardly any fats.
- Takeaways are very high in saturated fat. For example, a meal from a well-known hamburger joint can be as much as 80g of fat. Everything in moderation, so don’t make takeaway meals a normal everyday occurrence.
- Unless your child is obese never put them on a diet. Instead, just give them the healthy choices and as they grow they will balance out. Set realistic goals and let them decide what they really want to achieve.