Childhood obesity has become not just a common situation, but a real problem. How did this happen and what can we do?
The pace of modern life of is becoming faster and faster. At the same time less time is spent on cooking, which often affects its quality. Now people prefer to buy ready-made food than cook at home. Semi-finished products and ready meals from stores or deliveries, help to save time on cooking. But such “saving” money has a negative impact on health.
The situation is worsened by all sorts of snacks in beautiful wrappers, that screams from the counter to try them. Fat and sugar are what they’re made of. With them we only gain extra pounds. And this problem, unfortunately, affects the younger generations. Too much sugar in kids diet and sugar addiction are the real problems nowadays.
But the formation of food habits begins much earlier. They play an equally important role in the development of childhood obesity.
How to prevent childhood obesity
Feeding in the first months of life
First of all, the baby must be fed according to his age. The body of the child in the key period of the first 1000 days of life, counting from the moment of conception, develops extremely intensively. This time the organism start to work and it determines its future processes and development. Since that the childhood obesity preconditions can appear. Therefore, the baby needs special nutrition.
In the first 6 months of life, the most appropriate food for baby is mother’s milk, which provides it with all the necessary nutrients (except vitamins D and K, which should be added). If the mother is unable to breastfeed for some reason, she should choose a modified milk that meets the needs of the child.
Later, at the age of 17 to 26 weeks, it is time to expand the diet, but still with the advantage in favor of breast milk.
Then, after the first birthday, when the baby seems to be enough “adult”, the list of products becomes more vary, but the baby’s diet should still be different from the one that the older family members keep. According to the WHO recommendations, mother’s milk is still the main menu item for a baby up to two years old.
In no case can you accelerate changes in the baby’s menu or slow them down – the diet should meet the current needs of the young body and “grow” with him. Only this way his body will grow and develop in a proper way. Hormonal and digestive system don’t fail, and that is important to avoid childhood obesity.
To make sure that the kid’s menu is adapted to his current needs, parents can use a very simple recommended plan. Available here.
Let the child eat as much as he needs
A newborn baby, unlike adults and older children, feels only physical hunger, psychological is not peculiar to him. So when he gives you the signs he wants to eat, he is really hungry and needs food. A hungry child must be fed!
Although young mothers often confuse the child’s signs of need for food with his need for attention. And that’s the other side. It happens that mothers overfeed the child, make him eat when he does not need it. And it does not carry anything good, the rule – “the more the better” does not work here. He can get wrong eating behavior.
As well it can be got, when at later age parents force their children to eat more than they need to. They believe that they know the child’s needs better he themself, think that the child is not able to recognize his own needs. And this is a serious mistake!
“Do not leave the table until you finish”, “what does it mean you do not want to eat? And why do I want?”, “no dessert until you finish!” – you’ve probably heard it yourself for many times. This torments the child, literally causing him physical discomfort. You know that extra weight is extra calories you’ve eat, right?
Therefore to prevent childhood obesity parents should not force the child to eat if he clearly does not want to. It is necessary to follow the rule that the child decides how much he will eat, not the parent. Thanks to this meal will not be an additional stress for the kid.
It is good, when mom pays special attention to this issue and complement the dish with colorful vegetables, healthy cereals and protein sources. This is very important because studies show that 88% of children after the first year of life receive too few vegetables in their daily diet, but in their menu there is always a place for additional dishes stuffed with sugar.
Avoid empty calories in kids diet
Parents often worry when their baby refuses to eat all the food on the plate, and consider the moment when their child consump a portion of French fries or a milkshake with cookies as a consolation “thank God, he’s ate.”
It happens that kindergarteners, fearing that children will not eat, treat them to a variety of snacks that increase appetite, including those that are not necessary and good for health. They only gives extra calories and suppress the baby’s appetite during the main meal. This also leads to childhood obesity.
Due to the constant time of eating, the body is used to the fact that energy is supplied regularly, and there is no need to postpone it for later in the fat under the skin or in the organs that turns into childhood obesity.
In addition, such regularity prevents attacks of hunger, which then lead to overeating and childhood obesity.
It is desirable that the family had at least one meal together. This is one of the best habits that parents can give their children.
Physical activity for dessert
It is desirable not only to keep the diet that provides all the trace elements and nutrients according to the needs of the age, but do sports. Systematic physical activity is also important for health and preventing childhood obesity.
Take your child for a walk every day, let him join the sports section, instill a love of sports and active recreation. This will have invaluable benefits for his health now and in future.
Water is the best way to quench thirst
Man on 60% consists of water. It is necessary for the proper functioning of the body and the best way to quench your thirst.
From the beginning parents should teach the child to drink water when he wants to drink, not anything else. Even natural juices should only be a supplement and not used to quench thirst.
This is important because, giving preference to sweet drinks, the child’s body not only does not get enough water, but also drinks an incredibly lot of empty calories, which, as it has been said leads to childhood obesity. And the amount of sugar contained in the drinks will contribute to the rapid development of diabetes. In most cases it is accompanied with excessive weight. Actually diabetic is the most popular reason of childhood obesity.