How A Healthy Diet Prevents Obesity

A couple of decades ago, only 3% to 5% of kids ages 4 and 5 were obese and overweight.

But now, more than 10% of children in the same age group are suffering from this medical condition.

As a parent, it is indeed alarming to see this percentage rise exponentially. Luckily, you can prevent your child from being overweight with a healthy and balanced diet.

Causes of Obesity in Youngsters

Kids become obese and overweight for various reasons. The most common causes are unhealthy diet, lack of physical activities, poor environment, genetic factors, or a combination of the aforementioned factors.

In some cases, it can be triggered and caused by another medical condition like a hormonal problem. A few blood tests and a physical examination may rule out the possibility of a hormonal problem (or any medical condition) as the cause of this medical condition.

Weight problems can be a hereditary issue in families with a history of obesity. However, not all kids with such history will be directly affected.

While kids whose siblings and parents are obese may be at a higher of risk of becoming obese themselves, this issue may be linked to family’s shared behaviors, such as, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits.

Your child’s activity level and overall diet play a crucial role in determining his or her weight.

In today’s world, a lot of children spend a chunk of their time being inactive.  Usually, these kids spend their time playing video games and watching television shows.

As video games and computers continue to rise in popularity, the number of hours in their activity will decrease unless parents become proactive and take steps to prevent this from happening.

What Should Kids Eat: The Food Groups

Children’s nutrition practices the same principles as that of adult’s. Basically, children need certain nutrients, including the correct combination of fat, protein, fiber, carbohydrates, potassium, and various minerals, and vitamins.

For optimal growth, you should feed your children with foods that are rich in essential nutrients. Not only will these foods help in their growth, but they also sharpen their minds as well as stabilize their energy. What’s more, a balanced diet has been proven to balance children’s moods.

Dairy

Include low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as, a fortified soy beverage, cheese, yogurt, and milk. Dairy products are rich in Vitamin D and calcium, which are nutrients that aid in bone growth.

Grains/Bread, Pasta, Cereals

Wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, popcorn, oatmeal, whole grain waffles, cereals, pasta, buckwheat pancakes, and whole wheat bread products are some examples from this group.

Vegetables

Serve an array of frozen, canned or fresh vegetables, including, green and color varieties, such as, beets and tomatoes. and white, such as, mushrooms.  Dark leafy vegetables, such as, Spinach and Kale are important as they provide fiber and key essential vitamins.

Fruits

A variety of fresh whole fruit, including, berries, oranges, apples, bananas, mangos, guava, grapes, etc. Eliminate fruit juices with added sugar, opt for 100% pure juice instead.

Protein

Foods that are high in protein are essential in a child’s diet. Keep in mind that protein is the building block of human cells.

Foods that are packed with protein are seeds, nuts, soy products, eggs, dried beans, such as, lentils, fish, seafood, lean meats and poultry.

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