Balancing Calories: Help Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits – Childhood Obesity- Breakfast without Cereal!

Here are some quick but effective ways to help your child stay on track and consume a balanced healthy diet and have good eating habits.

Problems of childhood obesity go beyond physical ones. Obese adolescents have higher rates of depression (see article on brain food here), which increases the risk of poor eating and exercise patterns that add to their weight problem and result in a poor quality of life which can remain well into their adult life. Give your child a fighting chance with some simple steps. Why?

 Watch those sleep overs

Sleep overs can be a nightmare if you are endeavouring to help your child lose weight and maintain a healthy eating habit. In all fairness, if they are old enough for a sleepover then they probably have a good understanding of what they can eat and how to not over indulge. Hopefully, by now they are managing their own diet regime, this is of benefit to you and them.
Before the sleep over spend time with your child explaining and reminding them of a healthy diet. If possible, contact the parents of the other child and discuss with them the possible problems and be available for them to ring you if they might have any questions. It is a good idea to give your child some healthy snacks to take with them.

Calorie Control – Take Control

Encourage your child to take an interest in what they eat. Explain to them what healthy options are available and the options which are not so healthy. Teach your child the calorie count of certain foods. It always comes as a shock to teenagers as they are not aware that certain foods contain so many calories, but these foods are not filling. Encourage your child to make the right food choices 90 percent of the time. We all have days when we need to cheat, but that is okay within reason. 

Snack on the right food!

Children, just like adults, are vulnerable to snacking and so we cannot remove snacks as this would just cause you more problems. Instead, encourage them to select  the right foods to snack on. Food that is slow releasing and will provide them with long term energy.
Often we eat out of habit. If we encourage a healthy eating habit from the start then they will grow up with a healthy eating attitude to food and take this into adult life.

Recommendations by the government on food and exercise…

1: Increase vegetables and fruits  – as well as whole grains and nuts
2: Eat more unsaturated fats  
4: Government recommends one hour of physical activity a day – this can be done throughout the day-  it does not need to be all in one burst


 Good meals to start the day – breakfast without cereal!

1: Brown bread, avocado with a poached/ scrambled or boiled egg.
2: Try and avoid packaged foods, stick to whole foods if you can.
3: Burrito! Wholegrain tortilla with scrambled eggs or beans, vegetables and a bit of salsa.
4: Mixed fruit and plain yoghurt. Top with nuts and other vegetables that your child likes. Cucumbers are nice!
5: Green beans and boiled potatoes with some cheese sprinkled over the top or a few bits of ham/ lean bacon.
6: Wholegrain toast with melted cheese and fresh tomatoes on the top.
A healthy child / teenager means a better life for them and you. Let\’s start today and take one step at a time. You can do it. I know you can.

Don\’t miss the opportunity to start today for a better life for them tomorrow!

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