It’s official – Britain is the fat man of Europe. Stats from the NHS point out that 68% of men and 58% of women are obese. Compared to the rest of the continent, that is head and shoulders above the rest.
But, more shocking is the rate of childhood obesity in the country. In 2016, one in five children measured in reception was obese or overweight. In year 6, the figure ballooned to one-third. As a parent, this is the sort of new which you hope never darkens your door. The principal part of being a mother or father is to ensure the kids are safe and healthy. Sadly, the figures show that this might not be in the case.
Every mum or dad wants to tackle the issue head-on, yet might not know where to start. After all, there isn’t a simple solution if you aren’t a nutritionist or dietician. However, there are general tips which can encourage kids to be healthier. Here is what parents need to know.
Kids Value Fun
One reason kids don’t go outside any longer is that there is no value in leaving their room. Thanks to technology, they have everything they need to enjoy the day. From the TV screen to the latest games console, they could stay in the house for days and not get bored. There is even enough food and drink to feed an army. Instead of rebelling against technology, though, try and use it to your advantage. An excellent tip is to open your laptop and search for fun activities. Have you heard of Kin-ball? Good, because that’s a sign the kids will love it once they learn more. Another clever trick is to use their favourite sports stars as encouragement. Football or cricket fans want to recreate what they see on TV, which is where a local team comes in handy.
Still, kids won’t leave the house willingly and will need a push. This is where parenting gets tricky because you know what is best but don’t want to be the bad guy. In fact, forcing your kids to take part only means they will rebel just to spite their parents. Yep, that is a thing. The trick is to stop short of forcing them into physical activity. If they can’t be bothered, that’s up to them. However, mentioning it on a regular basis does work wonders. Kids, especially teenagers, can’t handle constant pressure and will leave the house just to get away from a nagging parent. Indeed, you’ll want them back inside if it works too well. Youngsters value their independence above all else.
They Love Junk Food
It isn’t only about making them more active. To lead a healthy lifestyle, they need to eat a balanced diet. Unfortunately, gov.uk doesn’t paint a pretty picture because 52% of kids eat more than five portions of fruit and veg a day. Although they are in the majority, it means that 48% of children don’t get their five-a-day, which is a big number. Because they are young, you can’t trust them to do the right thing for their bodies. Let’s face it – they want to be free and have a good time. As their parent, it is your job to make sure their diet is healthy and balanced. Cooking dinner which consists of all the food groups means they will consume plenty of nutrients. Also, don’t be afraid to make them lunch instead of giving them the money. Oh, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure they grab a piece of toast.
You Are A Role Model
The concept of a role model has its flaws regarding celebrities and famous people. How can these people affect their lives when they see them on a TV screen? However, one thing which isn’t up for debate is your role as a model. Nope, not on a catwalk, but in your kid’s lives. From an early age, sons and daughters look to their mums and dads for guidance, and it doesn’t stop. So, if they see you smoking a cigarette, there is a chance they will copy. Of course, if you have an Ecigwizard starter kit, the idea of smoking won’t appeal. The same goes for everything from drinking alcohol to eating fatty foods. It’s important not to understand your role in their lives because standards will slip. Sure, they make out as if parents are not cool, but they’d never admit the truth.
Friend Endorsements Are Key
Certainly, an endorsement by a cool person does give your parenting technique credibility. There is no doubt that they are more likely to get involved when their friends have their back. Kids are not trendsetters and will never dive in head first. But, if there is a person they know who is on board, it will break their resolve. So, do you know anyone who is super active and loves sports? Even better, is there another parent attempting to get their kids to be active? If there is, you should come together and join forces so that the children don’t have to be alone. All it takes is the initial step as sports teams and clubs are excellent for socialising and making new friends.
Manage Their Time
Kids aren’t inherently lazy. Although exercise might not take up a significant chunk of their day, there is a good reason. Their alibi is a lack of time because homework and chores can be time-consuming. Just think of it from your point of view, yet substitute homework with going to work. Once they get into a rut, the chances are they won’t come out anytime soon. So, it’s up to you to find the time and manage their schedule. Start by offering to help with their work. Do they need any help with admin or research? If so, be the person to take the weight off their shoulders. Alternatively, you can stop nagging. Some parents dictate their children’s routine by asking them to finish their work before anything else. Usually, this prevents them from participating in other tasks because they are too homework-orientated.
See A Doctor
There is no way to know what is going on under the bonnet without a medical professional. And, the kids aren’t going to book an appointment unless they are scared. Because they are children, they don’t feel fear and go months without seeing a GP. Again, it is your job to get them out of the house and into the doctor’s surgery. Sure, the doctor will probably say that everything is fine, which is a relief. Still, there are times when he/she will catch something before it spreads. Thanks to a regular check-up, the situation shouldn’t escalate out of control. Also, consider their peace of mind. Kids aren’t worriers, but they do suffer from stressful childhood illnesses such as acne. Getting treatment for spots is an excellent way to reduce the inflammation and boost their confidence. Being a kid is a stressful time, and you don’t want them to suffer mentally.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is vital for a growing boy or girl, but it isn’t danger-free. Taking part in sports, for example, may result in injuries, while playing out in the street has its hazards too. The post started off by saying that parents need to keep their kids safe and healthy. Make sure you don’t focus on one over the other as both are essential.
It isn’t an easy job, and you don’t get many thanks, but it’s one every parent needs take seriously. Ultimately, getting them to exercise and eat more fruit and veg are the keys.