Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Health Problems

healthy lifstyle changesWith the ever increasing problem of overweight and obese children there is a need for parents to be involved in their children’s eating habits and lifestyle. You can avoid these problems by teaching your children the importance of eating well and getting regular physical activity early on. Not only will you help them develop good habits for a lifetime but you can prevent heart diseases and cancers.

Regular physical activity, combined with healthy eating habits, is the most efficient and healthy way to control your weight. It is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Some simple ways to increase your family’s physical activity include the following:

Make the whole family go out for healthy activities

Go out for camping trips and nature hikes. Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games. Walk around the block every morning. Play games with them like softball or football.

Figure out which activities your child enjoys

Children have different likes, some enjoy sport while others like the free-play activities. If your child likes structure, enroll him or her in dance or martial arts classes.

Be sure that your child can see you taking part in many physical activities

Children imitate their parents to some degree. If they see you having fun in biking they would likely want to participate in all the fun. Your child would be more involved in an activity if they are willing participants.

Getting your kids active is just one part of the equation for a healthy lifestyle. You should also make sure that they are eating a well balanced and healthy diet. Before you go and get your children to diet you should remember that children should never be placed on a restrictive diet to lose weight, unless a doctor supervises one for medical reasons. Limiting what children eat may be harmful to their health and interfere with their growth and development.

To promote proper growth and development and prevent obesity, parents should offer the whole family a wide variety of foods from each of the food groups displayed in the Food Guide Pyramid. The Food Guide Pyramid applies to healthy people ages 2 years and older. The Food Guide Pyramid illustrates the importance of balance among food groups in a daily eating pattern.

If you are unsure about how to select and prepare a variety of foods for your family, consult a physician or registered dietitian for nutrition counseling.

Here are some ways to help your child develop good attitudes about eating:

Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house.

Encourage your child to eat slowly.

Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing

Involve children in food shopping and preparing meals. Children who have basic cooking skills appreciate food more and are more likely to try new dishes.

Cut down on the amount of fat in your family’s diet. Simple ways to cut the fat in your family’s diet include eating low fat or nonfat dairy products, poultry without skin and lean meats, and low fat or fat-free breads and cereals.

Plan healthy snacks.

Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and fruit served either plain or with low fat or fat-free cheese or yogurt• Dried fruit, served with nuts or sunflower or pumpkin seeds • Breads and crackers made with enriched flour and whole grains, served with fruit spread or fat-free cheese• Frozen desserts, such as nonfat or low fat ice cream, frozen yogurt, fruit sorbet, popsicles, water ice, and fruit juice bars

Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating.

Make sure your child’s meals outside the home are balanced.

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