With the number of overweight and obese children growing at a phenomenal rate, we as parents need to step up to the plate and take some responsibility to do our best to make a change for the future of our children.
According to information easily found on the CDC website, in 2009 there were 12.5 millionchildren who were either overweight or obese. I’m pretty certain that number has grown significantly within the last year to 18 months.
Sometimes, some of the easiest changes can make a huge difference. Here are five tips for getting your children to eat healthy.
Be an example. Your children learn from you and watch everything you do. Make sure you are making healthy decisions and your children are sure to follow.
Make a shopping list and stick to it. We’ve all been there in the middle of the snack food aisle with our stomach growling. Make sure you have a shopping list and only purchase items on your list.
Say no to prepackaged foods. Even if you aren’t the best of cooks (I know the feeling), it’s best if you can prepare your own meals at home. Doing so allows you to see each and every ingredient that goes in to the food you are feeding your family.
Keep fresh fruits and vegetables on hand at all times. Kids want snacks and they want it quick. Have baby carrots on hand and serve with fat free ranch, serve sliced celery with some peanut butter, or how about some sliced apples with yogurt. The options are endless and it’s much healthier than those salty snacks in a bag.
Read the labels. In this case, ignorance isn’t bliss. You need to know the ingredients in the food your family is consuming. If sugar is the number one ingredient, you probably should not purchase that product. Choose whole wheat products over “enriched” whole wheat products. Pay special attention to those labels!
The most important step in making a change is to start small. Start by doing one of the above and once you’ve mastered that, add another one. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro and your children will be eating much healthier.
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