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Avoiding child obesity
Child obesity has reached epidemic proportions in Australia, with a quarter of all children now considered overweight or obese. Australian children are facing a new set of challenges as a direct result of our sedentary, fast-food-driven culture. Lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, respiratory disorders and heart disease are becoming a real issue among the new generation of video-game-playing, internet-obsessed teens.
Times have changed. Parents are now working more hours than ever, with more money and less time to spend it. Cheap, fast food options like pre-packaged foods have become a convenient fix for time-poor working mums and dads.
Technology has dramatically changed the way we live and has lead to a dramatic drop in the number of active kids. Children and teens can amuse themselves for hours surfing the Internet, flicking through the channels on their cable TV and playing video games.
Healthy kids are active kids so get your kids moving by enrolling them in a sporting group. It’s a great way to get them out of the house, improve their confidence by allowing them to interact with new people and make new friends – and most importantly, it will ensure they get regular, scheduled exercise.
Invest time in child health. If you’re a working mum or dad, spend a couple of hours on the weekends preparing healthy, nutritious meals and freezing them for the week ahead.
Getting kids to cooperate
Get your kids to actively take part in their health by making it fun. Pop lots of small, colourful bite-size portions in your children’s lunchboxes for school that are easy for them to eat on the run. Put dried fruit and nut mixes in small containers, pre-seal a weeks worth of bags of cheese cubes as afternoon snacks when you’ve got some spare time and make fun, colourful fruit kebabs by popping fruit cubes onto skewers and letting kids dip them in delicious yoghurt.
Throw out the old ‘do as I say not as I do’ approach and get involved. Schedule weekend family fun days and get active as a family. Go bike riding together or embark on a bush-walking adventure – it’s a great way to bond as a family and, more importantly, ensure your kids health.
Are you concerned about childhood obesity? Is it affecting your family? Perhaps you know of some great ways to boost kids fitness?