More than 40 million children under five years of age worldwide are overweight, according to the World Health Organization. These children are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, problems with bones and joints, sleep apnea, problems with self-esteem, and long-term health problems. It’s hard to convince a child that fruit is better than biscuits or a bag of chips, but your child will eventually follow your lead if you reach for a peach instead of a bag of chips. You are actually offering them a valuable life skill by teaching your children to make healthy decisions.
To help you get started, here are some tips:
- Limit the intake of salt for your child as salt retains water.
- Limit your child’s intake of sugar. They are at an increased risk of unhealthy weight gain and are more likely to develop dental cavities and tooth decay when children consume large amounts of sugar.
- Ensure that your little one has plenty of water during the day to drink. Without water, your body can’t function properly and if your baby doesn’t drink enough of it, he or she can become dehydrated.
- Offer frozen yoghurt or a smoothie as they are lower in fat instead of ice-cream.
- Always offer baked or grilled food instead of anything fried as there is a lot less fat in baked foods.
- Encourage your kids to become active and play outside instead of watching TV all day long.