Get kids in the Kitchen to Fight Childhood Obesity

As obesity continues to be a major health risk for adults, children are also facing increasing risk for weight gain and obesity-related disease. The best way to prevent childhood obesity, say experts, is for parents to help educate children about healthy habits.

Kids in the Kitchen

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, high-calorie sugary drinks, large portion sizes, and frequent snacking on energy-dense foods contribute to childhood obesity. Getting kids involved in the kitchen can help them learn how to make healthier decisions about the foods they consume. The CDC recommends having plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products available. Parents should also offer low or non-fat dairy products and lean meats, poultry, and fish. In addition, kids can be shown what proper portion sizes look (and taste) like.

Variety can be difficult if you have a picky eater. Some experts suggest implementing the “one bite rule,” because many children might resist trying new foods simply because of how a food looks. Encouraging at least one bite helps continue to expose kids to new foods and reinforces the idea that it’s a good idea to keep trying them. You might also try offering new foods when your child is at their hungriest.

Experts also recommend getting kids involved in meal planning and food preparation. Give them age-appropriate decisions to make and tasks to complete and they’ll learn about making healthy decisions and be more likely to enjoy the finished product.