Parents care for their children’s obese condition. So much that it leads them to put many restrictions on children. “NO CHOCOLATES.” “DON’T EAT THAT.” “LOOK AT YOURSELF AND THEN PUT ANOTHER BITE IN YOUR MOUTH.” Now, parents don’t do this on purpose. They realize the danger of childhood obesity that can cause their child’s future.
The greater danger isn’t just for children’s body, but also their innocent heart. Children who are facing obesity are struggling with many things at a time. They need to starve themselves in the hope of cutting the carbs off their body. Sacrifice their love for chocolates and ice-creams. Feel guilty of their own body to go out and play with their friends. They fear if anyone would tease them or comment on their obese body.
This is a serious problem and it needs to get solved.
What causes childhood obesity?
Our body doesn’t simply decide one day, ‘let’s swell up, I am bored’. It happens gradually. Day after day. Little by little. Our body is affected by many things. There are various factors revolving around and within us that affect our body. Partial reasons for children being obese are our mistakes, while others are not. Here are a few factors that cause our children’s body to go through obesity.
1. No physical exertion
Children who like to stay at home and watch TV don’t exercise their body enough. The body needs to be stretched in order to allow the muscles to stretch. Children don’t find the need to meet up their friends and have some good times at the playgrounds. Instead, they prefer sitting for hours watching cartoons one after another. This later becomes a habit leading to obesity.
2. Wrong diet
Children often like to enjoy loads of junk food with friends post class or on weekends. Nowadays this has become a routine. In the ease of life with swiggy and Uber eats, children crave more for food from restaurants. Sometimes the eating schedule of children is disturbed with the unusual timing of various classes or other activities. Parents need to keep a track on when children eat. The proper time to eat, allows the food to digest well.
3. Runs in the family
Here, even parents find themselves helpless. They have no clue how to help children out of this. This is a genetic factor affecting children’s body and mind. There may be only a few things that can be done in order to keep children healthy.
4. Other physical complications
Other physical complications can be stress, low metabolism or hormonal problems. All these factors can affect children, causing childhood obesity. The signs of obesity are seen early and quickly. The part to worry about is these changes in the body might stay permanent.
Here are a few tips to avoid/ cure childhood obesity
1. A small portion of food
We normally provide a plate full of colourful food. Rotis, a bowl full of rice, sabji and a bowl of dal. The amount of food we provide children to eat in one sitting is too much. It doesn’t allow the body to completely digest the food. It converts the food into fat due to immeasurable spiking of insulin.
Instead, provide a smaller portion of food after an interval of 3 to 4 hours. This entirely depends on the starving ability of children. A smaller amount of food helps the digestion at ease.
2. Limit screen time
Screen time means sitting on a sofa or chair for hours. Make your child walk even if he/she wants to watch the TV. Parents need to encourage children to go out and play. Playing is the best way to do some physical exertion. This helps the body move and burn fats.
Yoga is beneficial and shows results permanently. Encourage children to perform yoga every morning. Surya Namaskar is a form of yoga that is more beneficial for weight loss. You can make children start by doing 6 Surya Namaskar every day. Gradually increase the number and watch the result. Stretching the body helps a lot in weight loss. There are various asanas that you can teach your child for weight loss. Yoga not only helps the body but the soul as well.
4. Proper diet
There are many diets that are created for weight loss. Everyone’s body functions differently. Understand how your children’s body functions. Is your child fine with having only 2 meals a day and starving the rest of the day? Does your child need some protein every 3 hours?
Children might want to eat a lot of junk food available. It’s tasty. It’s available easily. A bag of chips can be found in any grocery store. Make your child limit the intake of junk food. It affects the body highly. So bad that it might get difficult to recover later. Keep a cheat day where children can eat anything they like. One or two days in a month is alright for children to eat junk food. Make sure these 2 days have a gap of days in them. The rest of the days, there should be a strict diet. Salad, healthy Ghar ka khana and that is it.
Water intake is the ultimate importance. A glass of lukewarm water with lemon and honey should be must to begin the day. A big glass of water before going to bed. And at least 8 to 10 glasses of water for the rest of the day.
Make sure children drink a glass of water 10 minutes before lunch and dinner. This helps the food to digest easily, without living fats. After meals, no water should be consumed for at least half an hour. Doing so will allow the fats and acids to burn completely in the body. Later children can drink water.
6. Limit sugar intake
Sugar intake should be cut down to zero. Obviously, gradually, not all at once. Children should be limited to eat sugar. Sugar intake in the major cause of weight gain. But, children love sweets. How are we going to restrict them from sweets for a life time?
Not a lifetime. Remember the day we picked to eat junk food? Yes! Children can be allowed to eat chocolates and ice creams as well that day.
In some cases, no matter how much we try and make children starve, it doesn’t work. Children’s body builds up some hormones that directly result in weight gain. It doesn’t depend on food intake. Here, the first thing parents need to do is consult a Doctor. Doctors understand the body and how it works. They will guide you and your children very well for weight loss.
Read More: The Different Ways To Set a Toddler Routine
Weight gain or childhood obesity can often result in shame and guilty feeling. Children should not feel such an emotion. This can affect them to the very core. Parents should be supportive and patient with the weight loss program of children. They should encourage children. Make them believe that they are beautiful in any shape and form they are. Help build their confidence. They need your support more than sugar. Make sure you provide that in abundance.