1. Change your eating habits
Diet plays a key role in increasing the risk of obesity in both kids and adults. So to ensure your kids eat healthy, gradually change your family’s eating habits, which indirectly helps in the prevention of obesity. This includes voting for home cooked food over restaurant food. Home Cooked food is not only rich in nutrients, healthy and freshly prepared but also helps you to ensure that your kid is full and stays away from bingeing outside food. Even when eating out, you can pick the ones that contain more vegetables and less of oily/cheesy food. Another simple way is to pack healthy food in their tiffin boxes to ensure they eat a healthy meal both at home and school.
2. Be a role model for your kids
You can’t expect your kids to enjoy a bowl of salad or eat home cooked food when you are relishing a restaurant food. It is the parent’s responsibility to be a role model for their children. Parents who eat healthy foods and are physically activity set a great example for their kids. This not only increases the likelihood of their children to do the same. All you have to do is set an example for your kids and your kids will follow the route when it comes to eating healthy and staying healthy.
3. Stock your home with healthy foods
One of the most effective ways to inculcate the habit of healthy eating in kids is to create a healthy environment at home. This means stock your home with loads of fruits, vegetables, and homemade snacks to prevent your child from indulging in processed, junk food. If you have a habit of coming back home with a box of chocolates or a pack of chips for your child, stop it because it will only cause your kid to favor unhealthy food. The rule also applies for sugary beverages and carbonated drinks which are a favorite among kids and find an easy place in refrigerators. So the next time you go for grocery shopping avoid buying packaged foods, chocolates, chips, and soft drinks as it can act as a simple yet effective tool for prevention of obesity.
4. Include fruits and vegetables in every meal
Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of our diet and hence, it is important to serve at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily for prevention of obesity in kids, reports several studies. The 2002 Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases recommends that people should consume at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per person per day (which is equivalent to five servings). This is because eating larger amounts of fruits and vegetables increases the feeling of satiety and decreased energy density which in turn helps kids from unhealthy bingeing. It also decreases the total energy intake and increases diet quality promoting healthy weight. You can include fruits and vegetables either in raw form as salads, or smoothie, or add it to rice or curries.
5. Always read the food label
Most of us are smitten by the eye-catchy Ads on TV when it comes to choosing a food product. However, it is not always true as the pack might be misleading. So to get the right idea about how healthy a food packet is, it is best to read the nutritional information at the back of a packet. Nutritional labeling can help you to make healthier food choices and know the right caloric intake. This habit has shown to encourage more healthy diets in people who read the labels. So to ensure your kid eats healthy, nutrient-rich food, do not forget to check the label without fail every time you but a food packet.
6. Help kids stay active.
Children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week, preferably daily. Remember that children imitate adults. Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you.
Some examples of moderate intensity physical activity include:
- Brisk walking.
- Playing tag.
- Jumping rope.
- Playing soccer.