Healthy Kids

November 12, 2012

Healthy Kids

The modern sedentary lifestyle is taking its toll on children across the United States. They are spending more time in front of the television and video games, even as parents struggle to balance raising kids and a busy work schedule.

Childhood Obesity Facts

Children are constantly being exposed advertising, media, and peers who are forcing them into a sedentary, lazy and unhealthy lifestyle. This is increasing their risk of chronic illnesses at an early age.

  • The number of overweight adolescents has tripled since 1980.

  • The percentage of overweight children (ages 6-11) has almost doubled since the early 1980s.

  • The number of overweight preschool children has nearly doubled between 1994 and 2000.

  • The obesity rates are more prevalent among the African- and Mexican-American children when compared to other ethnic groups.

Parents, teachers and health care providers have to work together to solve the childhood obesity epidemic in the country, and to raise healthy kids.

Emotional Support

Children need emotional support from family and friends. Caregivers have to make an effort to find out about their physical and emotional needs, and understand how they are handling problems. Proper communication is absolutely essential for raising healthy kids. You should also talk to them about the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs. It is also important to teach them positive body image.

Explain

Help your child understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Welcome their questions and use those opportunities to inculcate healthy habits in them.

Do Not Give Them Everything

A child-centered approach where you fulfill every wish of your child is not good for your kid. Healthy kids have to develop skills to make wise and healthy choices.

Role Model

Most kids imitate their parents and primary caregivers. Hence, it is important to practice what you preach. Unfortunately, only three in ten youngsters believe that their parents or caregivers are positive and responsible role models.

Affirmative Discipline

As a parent it is your responsibility to set nutritional and lifestyle goals at home. You should set clear boundaries, and offer small rewards to your child to encourage them.

Help Children Make Healthy Decisions

Although you make the rules, you should also let children take some independent decisions. It is important to help the child make healthy decisions. This will boost their confidence, and help them make right choices even when they are with their peers. Healthy kids also have high self-esteem, which helps them sustain under peer pressure.

Exercise

Inculcate physical ac

tivity, sports and play into your everyday lives. Help your child have fun by planning family activities outdoors.

Relaxation

Do not over-schedule your kids. Lots of fun and a balanced life are important for raising healthy kids. Increased stress levels at a young age can also affect them psychologically.

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