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Avoiding Childhood Obesity – Meal And Snack Tips

tame that sweet tooth kids
tame that sweet tooth kids

Avoiding Childhood Obesity – Meal and Snack Tips

In order to avoid the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, it’s important to look at what your kids should eat rather than what they shouldn’t. Kids don’t do well with deprivation, and neither do adults! Implementing a positive meal plan is a good way to keep kids fit and healthy – but how? Here are some meal and snack tips for avoiding childhood obesity.

About Snacking…

Many parents assume that the old dieting adage “no snacking between meals” applies to kids. Actually, research has shown that that old advice doesn’t even really apply to adults, let alone kids! While cutting overall calories is a good idea, cutting out snacks and only eating at mealtimes can cause dips in blood sugar and may actually encourage overeating at mealtime. 

So snacking is a good thing – as long as it’s healthy. In fact, if you really want to get a handle on your kid’s weight, schedule in snacks instead of waiting until your child begs for one. Here are some examples of healthy snacks for kids.

* Frozen berries, grapes, and strawberries

* Fresh fruit and nut butter

* Smoothies

* Mini veggie pizzas (homemade on whole grain bread or crust)

* Vegetable crudités and low-fat dip (you can whip up an easy dip with fat-free Greek yogurt, powdered Italian dressing, and a little vegetable or tomato juice)

* Whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese

* Plain, low-fat yogurt with a little raw honey

* Fruit and plain yogurt

* Hard-boiled egg

* Nuts and seeds

Notice that there are no chips or sweets on the snack list. Cookies and milk no longer make the grade!

Don’t Nag

You certainly don’t want to give your child a complex about his or her weight, or encourage an eating disorder, experts warn. Go easy on the issue verbally while taking decisive action. 

Join In 

If the whole family takes part in the new healthy eating trends you’re implementing for your child, it may make it a lot easier to transition. If everyone takes part, it will not only increase the health of everyone in the family, but may also help the child who needs to lose/not gain weight feel supported.

Food as a Reward

Experts generally agree that using food as a reward for kids is not a good idea. They also point out that using food as a punishment is not a good idea, either. It’s said that children who are given food as a reward (especially “bad” foods like sweets and fast food) will seek out such food as adults when they need to feel positive. This can start a pattern of obesity that may last for the child’s whole life. 

Plan Meals

Planning meals and cooking at home may mean a lot less spontaneous fast-food drive-through moments. It also helps prevent moments of desperation when you have to give the kids something for dinner and all you have is junk food. 

Written by Editorial Staff

Our Editorial Staff consists of Certified Health Education Specialists and freelance medical writers with a passion for holistic kids health and wellness. From natural kids health articles to complex medical writing, our editorial staff works to help educate and engage parents in their kids holistic and healthcare decision-making.

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