With childhood obesity reaching near epidemic proportions, it is imperative that you look for ways to improve your child’s eating habits.
If your child’s eating habits are not kept in check, your child will face some serious health issues down the road.
As your child becomes overweight or obese, there is an increased chance your child will develop type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A change in what they eat will not only eliminate the chance of developing serious health issues at a young age, but they will also have more energy to be more physically active and more focused to do well in school.
Of course, the big question you may be asking yourself is “Where do I begin?” There is so much information out there that it can get quite confusing but if you follow some basic guidelines, you’ll find that it is not all that difficult to do.
As with making any new change in life, the most effective way is to do it gradually.
If you do a wholesale change on your child’s eating habits will result in failure.
The core to healthy eating habits is to eliminate as much as possible all of the processed foods the many children consume today.
These include foods like candies, packaged cookies and artificially sweetened drinks.
Also fast foods like fried chicken and hamburgers should also be reduced to a minimum.
You don’t have to remove these foods from your child’s diet completely.
It is perfectly fine to have your child have a sweet dessert every now and then but it must be done in strict moderation.
As you gradually wean your child away from all that junk food, start to introduce healthier fare like fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and lean meats.
You can easily offer an apple or banana instead of a candy bar.
They are just as sweet but are packed with essential nutrients instead of empty calories.
Or, when making a sandwich, you can use lean ham and pack it with tomatoes and lettuce between two slices of delicious whole grain bread.
As you can see by these examples, it’s not all that drastic and may not even be noticed.
But for it to be a true success, you will need to make this change in diet for your whole family and not just your child.
This will not only make the adoption of healthier eating easier for your child but also it will improve the health of your whole family.
So when you go grocery shopping think about the things that you buy for your family in general and see if you can gradually make the change, like buying more fruit and whole grain snacks instead of chips or challenge your family to drink water for a whole week instead of juice or soda.
The key is to make it fun and to make it subtle.
As time goes on, you will start to see your child making the right food choices.
Once they see the benefit of eating healthy, they’ll take to it quickly.
And once you establish these habits for your child, it will be with them for the rest of their long lives.