Childhood Obesity Can Be Conquered With Activity And Nutrition

A major hurtle for parents who are concerned about childhood obesity is the activity level of their kids. Although there has been a healthy stigma develop around playing video games all day, and the evolution of physically interactive games like Wii, kids of this generation are still generally less active than twenty or thirty years ago.

If your kids are already active congratulations on setting a great example for family and friends!

Activity produces overall physical, psychological and social benefits for kids. Consistent physical activity affects their muscular development and ordination. Team sports and activities also promote development of problem solving and social skills not possible in the realm of virtual games.

Coordinating activities as a family also bring additional benefits. Walking, hiking, bike riding, street hockey and anything else that gets you moving will provide the needed activity along with precious bonding time so hard to find in our fast paced lives.

It’s also important for a child’s bones and joints, making them stronger, more flexible and less susceptible to injury. Physical fitness impacts children’s immune systems and it’s well established that an active body means a stronger immune system, making kids more resistant to illness.

Take precautions when your kids are active. Children use up more energy than adults while doing the same activity. This means they can heat up quickly, making fluid intake vitally important. Half their body weight in ounces of water are recommended throughout the day for children, more for active kids.

During activity, kids should re-hydrate about every 20 minutes to replace the fluids they lose through sweating. If the weather is hot, they should re-hydrate even more frequently and you need to know the signs of dehydration.

These include darker-colored urine, muscle cramping and light-headedness. Smaller bodies have less margin of error and require closer monitoring.

Proper nutrition goes hand in hand with physical activity.

In order for a child’s body to operate at peak efficiency it needs the right nutrients. Make sure to avoid giving kids sugary snacks such as candy bars, pudding, pastries and soda. Kids are always growing and building muscle and proper nutrition supports healthy development.

Foods high in sugar content cause energy peaks and valleys, which leave kids tired, irritable and unable to concentrate. Instead, offer them nourishing, healthy snacks, such as fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. They’re naturally sweet snacks that also contain the fiber and vitamins kids need.

Leaving prepared (cleaned and cut) fruits and veggies lay around is an excellent way to encourage healthy snacking. The extra effort is worth it. Try a big bag of orange slices after the next soccer practice instead of sugary “sports” drinks or juice boxes.

The choices for moms and dads in a hurry are limited. Kids nutritional shakes are an excellent addition to your child’s diet. For the same reason that shakes are so effective for weight loss, the concentration of quality nutrition in very few calories, they make excellent snacks for kids.

When it comes to healthy nutrition and consistent physical activity, nothing can replace the power of a good example. Parents can have a life-long influence by committing to set such an example for their kids.

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