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Fighting Obesity One Meal at a Time

apple handAs children are ever growing, appetites will fluctuate drastically. At times it seems like they might eat you out of house and home. The next day, they may have very little of an appetite. The trick to fighting obesity in a child is monitoring what they consume.

Naturally, a child’s metabolism could be running at full speed in order to provide the nutrients the body needs for continued development. By giving the child meals and snacks that are healthy, you could save them from health problems and bad eating habits later in life.

1. Breakfast – There are a great deal of households that allow the child to eat breakfast at school. For the most part, this could be OK to do. In today’s weight-conscious society, schools are enforcing more of a healthy dining experience for children. For children whom eat at home, something healthier than a bowl loaded with chocolate chunks and marshmallows is ideal. A quick egg or two with a glass of milk and a slice of wheat toast can go a long way with a child. However, it is up to the parents to put aside laziness and prepare a nutritious breakfast for the family to start the day.

2. Lunch – Again, schools can do a good job at providing nutritious foods for the child – at least in some districts. A meat and cheese sandwich on wheat bread, an orange, two cheese sticks, and a flavored water tucked in his or her favorite lunch box could make for a happy and healthier child. A pudding cup once in a while as a treat isn’t bad, but when the child relies on it to sustain them for the rest of the day it could become an unhealthy habit.

3. After School – Many households have a rule about after school snacks. For the most part, children under 10 don’t really care what the snack is. Cheese sticks, trail mix, beef jerky, fruits, and other healthy snacks could suffice. By the time the child is a teenager, they won’t rely on chocolates, creams, and caramels for a snack.

4. Dinner Portions – The eating habits of the child are reflected by the eating habits of the parent. If the parent consumes larger portions than normal, the child will as well. Providing food on a plate doesn’t mean you have to cover its surface. Try to stay away from large amounts of starchy foods as well. One or two scoops of potatoes is ok, but when half of the plate is a mound of mushy whiteness it may be too much. Your goal is to provide energy for the child, not cellulite.

5. Snacking – Let’s face it, most children have a pension for sweets. In this case, tempt them with pineapple, strawberries, cherries, and other “sweet” fruits instead of chocolate cakes. Some children would actually prefer snacking on fun foods such as a banana over fattening sugars and bad carbohydrates. Even water can become a tasty beverage if you use an additive such as a Mio Liquid Enhancer – which has no sugars in it.

The bottom line is that parents need to be more responsible when it comes to the eating habits of the family. Don’t let laziness and drive through become habitual for yourself. Eating healthy is one of the most important steps to a life without obesity. Although exercise is a close second, your diet controls your energy levels and emotional states. By eating the right foods, your child can continue to stay healthy and happy. Teach them early that when “Hostess” closed down, it wasn’t the end of the world.

[About the author: Amanda Carlson, a blogger as well as a former newborn care nurse contributed this post. To stay connected to her previous career and share the knowledge she gained, she began writing for www.newborncare.com. You can reach her at amanda.newborncare @ gmail.com. Image via Www.CourtneyCarmody.com/ on Flickr]

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