Experts say that unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activity are root cause for the development of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, strokes and heart diseases in children. These are carried over to the adulthood. This is a worldwide problem. Studies show that diseases due to over weight have tripled in the past 30 years. Lack of healthy eating, which can lead to obesity is also causing social and emotional problems in school going children and in teens.
T.V., video games, computer and mobile phones have become only spare time activities for most of the children. It has a major impact on their present and future health. Research shows that children who watch more T.V. are more likely to become obese due to excessive intake of snacks and lack of physical exercise.
Parents and care takers should encourage healthy eating habits as they are laid between the ages of 2 to 10 years. Promoting healthy eating in children requires a lot of patience from the parents, mainly from working parents, who cannot afford to spend enough time with the children. Some of the hints for better health are:
- Limit fatty and sugary snacks. Promote healthy proteins, whole grains and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as part of every meal.
- Eating meals together with the family makes it more interesting for children and also parents, as they get to know the preferences of the children.
- Discourage eating meals while watching T.V.
- Avoid stuffing and encourage them to eat slowly.
- Avoid rewarding children with unhealthy snacks.
- Encourage outdoor games or any kind of physical activity at least for an hour.