Sensitive topics like childhood obesity are definitely ones that need to be discussed but many tip toe around them. Fast food restaurants and drive through places make is so easy for us to consume foods on the go and provide a super quick method to get a meal. However, most meals are high in caloric intake and unhealthy substances like saturated and trans fats – “bad fats” that are not good for our bodies. Many meals are now super sized and are offered with sweet tea or sugar filled sodas. All of these negative connotations lead to overweight children, putting kids at risk for diabetes, unstable glycemic indexes, heart disease and even cancer with the increased intake of complex carbohydrates, increased sugars and “bad fats.” What can we do about these alarming facts?
When dealing with childhood obesity I would like for you to be committed to much needed change. It is really easy to make small changes that lead to significant differences almost immediately. My first suggestion is to eliminate all restaurants for a year, cut out complex carbs and sugars and eat a very clean diet. Then begin to encourage your children to exercise on a regular basis. If you choose to exercise with your kids they are most likely to stick with their fitness goals and push themselves harder to burn calories and increase muscle mass. It is imperative you set the example and eat healthy options and be excited to work out with your children or as a family. Write down your goals and stick to them and when you reach one milestone then set a newer more difficult one to break through barriers. Teach your kids about the affects of making good meal selections and what bad choices lead to health wise. Also, for the time being I would encourage you to pack their lunches for school to ensure they are receiving the best options that fit their specific needs. It will take about thirty days for you and your children to get used to this new way of living. Remember, this is a lifestyle change for all of you and not just a quick fix or a routine that will just get you out of a bad rut. It would be helpful if you will take the time to teach your kids the essence of not binging, selecting food options that make your kids feel energized and healthy and also staying away yeast and gluten products, foods that are processed and ones that contain too many fillers and select non GMO and organic if at all possible. Your kids rely on you to discuss with them the harmful affects that choosing the wrong option can do for them. Also, try rewarding your kids each week or month when they smash their goals. Tell them how proud you are of them and continue with positive affirmations and ask them how their clothes are fitting them. Lastly, I highly recommend not owning a scale as you and your kids can become obsessed with numbers instead of how great you feel. I it best to not entertain any conversations that lead to body distortions, instead positively reward good talks and healthy images. The more you encourage those types of things the less likely your kids are to have the wrong feelings about their bodies in general.
As parents it is hard to see our kids struggle but it is also very powerful knowing we have choices and our choices come with consequences. Choose wisely and be health conscious. Everyone benefits and kids learn to love themselves just the way they are!