“Parents hardly ever spot obesity in their children, resulting in damaging consequences to health, doctors warn.”
This article gives us a bit of a wake up call regarding the statistics of childhood obesity in the UK.
It can be hard to find reliable resources to get information with regard to child health. The importance of such information is not lost on us here at the Shudokan Black Belt Academy. So when we find one we like to let you know.
Check out ‘Healthy Child Healthy World‘ for some top tips on this subject.
Kid Fitness Tip #5: Offer positive feedback.
Praise a child for perfecting that handstand or figuring out how to pump those legs to swing high in the sky. Out-of-shape or uncoordinated children need to hear encouragement for reaching even small goals, such as walking or biking further than last time. Remember, acknowledge the effort — choosing to be active or trying to improve a skill — rather than the outcome to help build your child’s confidence.
Children who aren’t naturally athletic may be self-conscious about their physical skills (or lack of them). They may also fear public failure, embarrassment, or teasing. A child may just be physically cautious. These kids need all the support and cheerleading you can offer. Nagging or negative comments don’t work and will only serve to make your child feel bad.
Martial arts is a great way t help build your childs self confidence.
To be continued…
Kid Fitness Tip #3: Limit screen time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids get no more than one to two hours of screen time a day, whether that’s watching TV, surfing the Internet, or playing video games. But many children spend four or more hours each day in front of a screen. Encourage active alternatives to these passive pastimes, such as shooting hoops at the local playground, walking the dog, or a game of tag, or learning a skill like martial arts.
To help keep temptation at bay, remove TVs from bedrooms and put the computer in a shared space where you can supervise. If you have teens, set guidelines about other sedentary pursuits like chatting on the phone or text messaging.
Kid Fitness Tip #4: Lead by example.
If you vegetate in front of the TV every night, the remote control in one hand and a bag of chips in the other, you’re not practicing what you preach. And your kids aren’t likely to respect restrictions you set on their screen time either. So check your own viewing behavior and serve as a role model by incorporating physical activity into your everyday life. When you can, walk instead of driving. Climb the stairs rather than wait for the elevator. Regularly participate in active pursuits that you enjoy and let your kids see — and hear about — how much you enjoy them.
Kid Fitness Tip #1: Think outside the playing field.
Not everyone is drawn to organized sports such as football or baseball. Look for other activities your child will enjoy — like dancing, rock climbing, swimming, or martial arts. And have patience — it may take some trial and error before your kid finds the right fit.
“It’s probably time to explore another option when your child is no longer having fun,” says Eric Small, MD, a specialist in pediatric/adolescent sports medicine and author of Kids & Sports. “Keep trying different ideas until something clicks. It’s important to get non-athletic kids motivated and moving so they can enjoy a lifelong habit of physical activity.”
Kid Fitness Tip #2: Join in the game.
Kids love it when their parents play with them. So encourage children’s fitness by taking a family hike. Have a game of catch. Walk or bike to school together. Play hopscotch. “You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or special classes to encourage your child to exercise,” says Patricia Nixon, PhD, president-elect of the North American Society of Pediatric Exercise Medicine.
More tips coming soon.
9. Love and accept your child no matter what!
Love and accept your child at any weight, size, or shape. During childhood, growth is unpredictable at best. It comes in spurts and a once-skinny child can suddenly plump up while his height catches up with his weight. There’s a lot of pressure in our society to be thin, and you might be tempted to put your child on a diet during a growth spurt, but that won’t be helpful and may even cause emotional and physical damage.
Instead, help your child maintain his weight until his height catches up. The best way to do that is to teach good healthy eating habits and encourage your child to be active; try yoga DVDs for kids and emphasize activities that keep you all moving and create healthy outlets for all that kid energy.
10. Make sure your child eats breakfast.
It’s the most important meal of the day, and it should ideally be the largest meal of the day to get your child off on the right foot. After ten to twelve hours with no food it’s important to refuel the engines. If they don’t eat in the morning they’ll be tired and unable to concentrate in school before lunch. It’s essential that children jumpstart their metabolism in the morning so their bodies don’t enter starvation mode, which might later cause them to experience difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight.
Some children need to practice eating breakfast. We recommend starting small and working to a bigger meal if you’re having trouble getting your child to eat breakfast. For most children, breakfast should be around 500 calories and should be nutritionally balanced.
Starting kids off with sugar first thing in morning is not ideal. This gives a quick burst of energy and then leaves your child drained. Breakfast should always include a source of protein, some healthy fats, carbohydrates (whole grains are best), and vitamins and minerals.
7. Don’t use food as rewards, bribes, or punishments.
Okay, okay, we know, M&Ms have a long history as the greatest bribe candy on Earth for potty training — even the most health-conscious mum will break down and try M&Ms during that oh-so-critical stage of development. Don’t give in! Stickers work just as well and you won’t be setting a precedent for using food as a bribe or reward as your child gets older.
Sure, it’s okay to take the kids out for ice cream or frozen yogurt after a good (or even a bad) football game, just don’t use it as an incentive for a good game. On the flip side, don’t punish children for not eating certain foods — it will only foster a negative relationship between you and your children, not to mention your children and food.
8. Let kids help in the kitchen.
Encourage your children to help out in the kitchen. Even a two-year old can help peel potatoes or carrots. For smaller children, invest in a stool that allows your children to safely reach the kitchen counter so they can see what you’re doing. Or if you have room, set up a workstation at your child’s height so he can participate without having to stand on tiptoes.
If a child is interested in doing more in the kitchen, don’t automatically assume that she can’t or that the task will be too dangerous. Know your child’s limits and help him achieve success by providing support and encouragement in a safe setting.
Kids love eating food they create. Involve your child in cooking or snack preparation and they will be more likely to eat new foods, including fruits and vegetables.
Shudokan Aikido helps kids stay fit and heathy by offering disciplined excercise through martial arts http://www.shudokanaikido.co.uk
5. Don’t be a short-order cook.
Ever find yourself making one meal for the adults in the house and another for the kids — or even one for each kid? Children take their time warming up to new things and if you keep giving them the old standbys they’re not going to branch out and explore new foods. Be patient.
Most research says that it takes an average of ten to twelve attempts before a child will try a new food, unless they are involved in cooking and gardening projects. Learning about food and cooking in an active way helps breed a sense of culinary adventure.
Make the same dinner for everyone in the family while making sure to put some foods on the plate that your children like — then add something new. If they don’t touch it, don’t worry about it, and definitely don’t make an argument out of it.
Try again the next week and again the following week. Eventually they’ll surprise you by at least tasting that new food.
6. Don’t buy into marketing for kids.
Kids don’t need frozen chicken nuggets, French fries, macaroni and cheese, and pizza to keep them happy. Highly processed foods like these are loaded with chemicals, synthetic fats, additives, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings. And even a three-year-old can grasp why fizzy drinks aren’t good for you and why we don’t eat foods with lots of fat every day at every meal.
Since television ads are the most prevalent medium and therefore influential, we recommend limiting television viewing early in life to channels with fewer commercials — or better yet, to videos with no commercials. Use a digital video recorder to record special programs on television so you can edit out the commercials as they watch.
You can’t keep heavily processed foods out of their diets forever, but the longer you limit exposure while instilling healthy eating habits, the more likely your children will be to make better choices when left to their own devices.
Parents should also be working to remove food colorings, benzoate preservatives, and artificial sweeteners from their children’s diets. More than 2.5 million children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and an additional 15 percent of children have borderline hyperactivity or behavioral issues. Research shows that nearly 100 studies validating the hypothesis that food dyes and additives are a factor in attention and behavior disorders and can increase the incidence of ADHD. In one of those studies 73 percent of children placed on a diet free from chemical additives, dyes, and artificial sweeteners showed a reduction in hyperactivity and an increase in attention.
Faced with the child who thinks he might implode without that blue applesauce, hold your ground and look for an organic applesauce instead while explaining that both taste the same but one has things added to it that aren’t healthful. If you have a particularly stubborn child, do a blind taste test to prove your point.
Tips 7 and 8 coming soon…
3. Be flexible!
Remember, anything in moderation is okay. Of course, if you eat doughnuts in moderation, followed by crisps in moderation and soda in moderation, it is no longer healthy. Having a cookie every day and balancing it with healthy foods is a better practice of moderation.
While we always want to make the healthiest choices for our children’s bodies, a special treat once a week or even once a day won’t do any damage. On the contrary, it will help make eating a more enjoyable experience and will help your child build a good relationship with food.
4. Make mealtime special.
There are all sorts of fun things we can do to make mealtime special. First and foremost, sit down and enjoy your food. Take time to savor flavors. Children should never eat while walking around.
We understand that some young children have difficulty sitting for the entire meal. In those cases we recommend allowing the child to get up once or twice, while encouraging the child to sit — not stand — at the table when he or she comes back to eat. For children who are able to understand, explain to them that mealtimes are special family times and it is important to the family that everyone sit down to eat and talk together.
Make a ritual out of dinner and give everyone a special task — maybe even let each child have one night a week to plan and help make dinner. Have the kids set the table. Cloth napkins and real glasses set a more formal tone and are better for the environment. Candles aren’t just for adult dining — they can set a calming tone for the meal and will show kids that mealtime is special. Make a point not to allow mealtimes to degenerate into family argument time.
To be continued…
Healthy eating combined with a disciplined exercise will help your child avoid obesity http://www.shudokanaikido.co.uk