Help Your Child Stay at a Healthy Weight

Childhood obesity has grown to epidemic proportions in Syracuse and throughout the country. Helping our children maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle, especially in a society that is overrun by computers, video games and television can be a struggle at times, but following several basic guidelines can help avoid the need for medical weight loss for your child.

Childhood obesity can lead to the same diseases that overweight adults are at risk for such as sleep apnea, diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, children can be subject to bullying in school and suffer from low self-esteem that can lead to more problems as they become an adult.

Eating healthy starts at home for children. A daily schedule such as planned meals with the family can help children make better choices when the parents are not around. Parents are role models and by letting the child assist in choosing the right food, whether it is at the supermarket or in the kitchen while planning a meal, will educate them as to what food is healthier, tastier and more satisfying.

Starting the day with a healthy breakfast that gives a child the energy they need to make it through the day is also key. Choosing a healthy alternative to overly sugared cereals such as fruit will help protect them from type II diabetes, some types of cancer and heart disease. Choosing a healthy snack for the middle of their day will also help them control their appetite throughout a day and cut down on binging after school.

Setting limits in regard to idle time in front of the television or video games is another important rule. Not only should this time be limited to two hours or less each day, but parents should also avoid having a television or computer in the child’s room. Encourage them to get out in the fresh upstate New York air and play sports or interact with other children at the playground. Activities like this will help them with muscle and bone strengthening.

Following a few basic rules can help your child remain healthier and avoid the pitfalls and dangers of childhood obesity. It will also make a happier child and more productive adult in the long run.