Ways You Are Making Your Kids Fat
If you often feel pressured into giving in to your child’s demands for burgers, French fries, and ice cream for dinner, you should bear the following statistics in mind:
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
- The percentage of children aged 6 to 11 years in the United States who were obese increased from seven percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years who were obese increased from five percent to nearly 21 percent over the same period.
It goes without saying that it can be a challenge to ensure that your child eats a healthy and varied diet. And when it comes to feeding kids, there are common mistakes that often perpetuate or contribute to poor eating habits. “All parents make mistakes — it’s part of parenting,” says Dr. Jennifer A. Gardner, CEO of Healthy Kids Company. “Unfortunately, the intuitive solutions to unhealthy eating habits all seem to make establishing healthy eating habits less likely, not more! So, many parents unknowingly foil one of the most important tasks of childhood.”
Like it or not, most unhealthy eating habits begin in the home, which means that is the best place to start improving a child’s diet. If you find that you are making some of the common mistakes listed in the slideshow, it’s probably time to revaluate the way you are feeding your children. “Taking the time to establish and enforce good eating habits early in life is like saving for college,” says Gardner. “The dividends are years away, but last a lifetime!”
To help you pave and navigate a healthy road for your child, avoid making these blunders with food.
Feeding Kids Processed Foods
“One recent study found that we burn about 50 percent more calories metabolizing whole foods versus processed foods. A processed snack habit may set up kids for an overweight or obese future.”— Cynthia Sass, registered, author of the New York Times best seller S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches?
Forgetting to be a Good Role Model
“Eating a wide variety of healthy foods yourself really is the best tool in your arsenal. Focus on setting a good example, not what your kids are eating! This gives children the time and environment needed to learn to become healthy, varied eaters. Let your child see you making health choices everyday. Give your child ample opportunity to eat fresh prepared meals at the family table. Studies show that when food is prepared in the home, there tends to be more fruits and vegetables served with less unhealthy fats, processed foods, and salt served.”
— Jennifer A. Gardner