Child Obesity An Overview Of Child Nutrition

The saying “You are what you eat” is one that many of us know; yet we choose to ignore. Why is it that many of us know what we eat is bad for us? yet we consume it on a regular basis, sometimes three, four or more times a week.

Processed and fast foods are everywhere, and they come with a low price tag and a high level of convenience. No one has time to cook these days, yet we somehow have time to consume this food in front of the television once its been heated in the microwave, or prepared by our youth in some tiny fast food kitchen. Admittedly this is a generalisation, and no doubt many FitKids readers are reverting back to good old home cooked meals, but the increase of Child Obesity would prove this is a factor that weighs heavily upon the future of our children’s lifestyles.

These processed and fast foods contain high levels of chemicals and additives and also copious amounts of saturated fat, the ‘bad’ fat, and the hardest of fats to break down and remove from our bodies. Yet their “exquisite taste” and cheap price range trump the alternative, which is fresh and healthy home cooked meals.

Other than the above, and other issues we face which is time for preparation of these foods, one of the most common statements I hear as a personal trainer is that “Healthy food costs too much”. There is no doubt that the general cost of living is on the rise, unfortunately this is one of the factors we can’t change, but if we take the time to look at the amount of wastage we dispose of throughout the year the cost of buying healthier foods would not be so overwhelming.

The truth is that it comes down to discipline, allowing yourself to discover new ways to introduce these types of changes into family routines without causing major disruption.

At the end of the day we can lay down excuse after excuse as to why we can’t find the time to eat healthy, take part in physical activity and allow time for our children to do so too, but what you will find is it can become a vicious cycle that leads you to nowhere.

Here are a few tips to introduce a healthy nutritional diet into a family lifestyle. Remember that this can be a gradual process, as changing everything at once can be damaging to the overall results we desire. Take your time to plan out how you can make some positive changes to your children’s daily intake of food and see if any of the ideas here on FitKids Online can benefit you.

Getting kids excited about food

There is no doubt that children can be stubborn when it comes to food and the easy option is to give them their favourite meal time after time. One of the ways to overcome this is to engage children in the process of food from the beginning stages right through to the end result on their plate.

Grow your own vegetables

Planting and growing your own vegetables can be a rewarding challenge not only for our children but also for us parents. Although this is a timely process, once a vegetable garden has been established it can be maintained for each season with a lot more ease.

Let your children choose which vegetables they want to grow and encourage them to help water the crop each day. Explain the benefits of growing your own vegetables to your children, not only is this an exciting activity for the children it can also be very beneficial in terms of knowledge and education.

Take the kids shopping

If growing your own vegetables isn’t ideal for you this isn’t a problem. Another solution with getting children involved with food is to take them grocery shopping with you. Let them choose items that look fun and exciting and come up with new recipes together. Think of ways to create their favourite processed foods by using healthy alternatives.

Chicken nuggets can contain almost any part of a chicken, from the succulent and healthy meat, to the not so appealing insides, feet and even beak. Add in preservatives, colouring and other unknown ingredients and you can soon see how we loose track of what our children are consuming.

A cheap, healthy alternative to this is making your own chicken nuggets with chicken breast, flour, eggs, oil and breadcrumbs. Don’t think that using a little oil to cook these will make it just as unhealthy, our body needs a certain amount of fats and this way we can guarantee we know exactly what is going into our children’s tummies.

Encouraging them to cook and be creative

I normally employ a strict policy in our house that the kitchen is out of bounds for my daughter. With sharp knives, hot pans, boiling water and a low sitting oven there are many dangers that I would rather my daughter not encounter at the age of two. In saying this, my daughter loves to cook and food is easily one of her greatest passions already.

My solution to this was to buy my daughter her own range of child friendly cooking utensils, in bright colours obviously to help engage her attention. She has her own area of the kitchen where she can help me prepare the food yet it is far enough out of reach of anything dangerous. By creating a set of boundaries she has learned that although there may be some restrictions with certain activities, she can still have fun and explore the fascination of food in her own space.

As a parent, food has always been a high importance when it comes to my daughter. From the moment she could digest solid foods there was no doubt in my mind it would be home cooked food from the beginning. I believe this outlook is what has helped her to develop such a love for all types of food and this can only grow more and more positive each day. With a love for vegetables like pumpkin, leeks, sprouts and sweet potato as well as many types of meat, I am able to provide her with a well-balanced nutritional intake at a very young age.

Trying new foods

Don’t be afraid to explore new foods, you never know the results until you try. The older children get the more difficult it is to change their mind and their routine as they question why we would want to do such a thing. Stubbornness and strong will can also come into play when a child makes up their mind they don’t want to do something.

Don’t let this scare you though, as introducing new foods can in fact be fun and exciting we just need to come up with solutions to the problem and if all else fails we can always disguise food in the meals we prepare. If your child loves spaghetti bolognaise grate up some carrot and finely slice some mushroom to create a healthier alternative. Home made beef burgers and sausage rolls can be made with many types of vegetables also.

Eliminating junk food from the cupboards

Sometimes to achieve the results in which we desire we have to play the role of the not so favourite parent. Removing junk food from the cupboards, or placing it out of sight and out of reach is one way to start making a change in a child’s nutritional intake. Persistence is key with this step and although it may seem like a daunting task, in time your child will learn to appreciate what is available as apposed to dwelling on what is not.

Essential intake of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats

The science that is the intake of protein, carbohydrates and fats can be an art form, crunching numbers and trial and error are of importance here and this is greatly known by professional athletes, body builders and personal trainers.

When it comes to the nutritional intake of children, unless we are noticing dramatic levels of obesity or dangers of high cholesterol, diabetes and other health implications, the numbers game is something I like to steer clear of. Children need to have the freedom to explore new concepts and ideas, not be contained by a fixed daily food regime. So long as the food we provide for our children is healthy and as free of additives as possible we are on the right track to educating them on a healthy and active lifestyle.

Remember, creating such a lifestyle for our children is our main aim, but we need to find a comfortable balance, as each family is different. Take some time to plan it out and implement ideas one at a time. It can be a difficult process but rewarding in the long run.

For more tips on Child Nutrion, check out FitKids Online. FitKids Online is a site that I have developed to raise awareness of these issues and to educate parents on active children’s lifestyles. Being a parent, as well as a personal trainer, the issue of child obesity is something that is quite close to my heart. If through FitKids Online I can help even one child lead a more healthy and active lifestyle, than I can say it has been successful.

Also available is the FitKids Online’s eGuide “A Jumping Start to Life” where we will take a closer look as to why Child Obesity is becoming an epidemic and how it seems to be an issue that is spiralling out of control at a rapid pace.

I do hope this has been beneficial to you in one way or another, and has possibly opened your eyes to an issue that for many years has gone unnoticed. If you do take a moment to look at fitkidsonline.co, I hope you find some valuable information, and I look forward to hearing any responses, questions and queries.

The saying “You are what you eat” is one that many of us know; yet we choose to ignore. Why is it that many of us know what we eat is bad for us? yet we consume it on a regular basis, sometimes three, four or more times a week.

Processed and fast foods are everywhere, and they come with a low price tag and a high level of convenience. No one has time to cook these days, yet we somehow have time to consume this food in front of the television once its been heated in the microwave, or prepared by our youth in some tiny fast food kitchen. Admittedly this is a generalisation, and no doubt many FitKids readers are reverting back to good old home cooked meals, but the increase of Child Obesity would prove this is a factor that weighs heavily upon the future of our children’s lifestyles.

These processed and fast foods contain high levels of chemicals and additives and also copious amounts of saturated fat, the ‘bad’ fat, and the hardest of fats to break down and remove from our bodies. Yet their “exquisite taste” and cheap price range trump the alternative, which is fresh and healthy home cooked meals.

Other than the above, and other issues we face which is time for preparation of these foods, one of the most common statements I hear as a personal trainer is that “Healthy food costs too much”. There is no doubt that the general cost of living is on the rise, unfortunately this is one of the factors we can’t change, but if we take the time to look at the amount of wastage we dispose of throughout the year the cost of buying healthier foods would not be so overwhelming.

The truth is that it comes down to discipline, allowing yourself to discover new ways to introduce these types of changes into family routines without causing major disruption.

At the end of the day we can lay down excuse after excuse as to why we can’t find the time to eat healthy, take part in physical activity and allow time for our children to do so too, but what you will find is it can become a vicious cycle that leads you to nowhere.

Here are a few tips to introduce a healthy nutritional diet into a family lifestyle. Remember that this can be a gradual process, as changing everything at once can be damaging to the overall results we desire. Take your time to plan out how you can make some positive changes to your children’s daily intake of food and see if any of the ideas here on FitKids Online can benefit you.

Getting kids excited about food

There is no doubt that children can be stubborn when it comes to food and the easy option is to give them their favourite meal time after time. One of the ways to overcome this is to engage children in the process of food from the beginning stages right through to the end result on their plate.

Grow your own vegetables

Planting and growing your own vegetables can be a rewarding challenge not only for our children but also for us parents. Although this is a timely process, once a vegetable garden has been established it can be maintained for each season with a lot more ease.

Let your children choose which vegetables they want to grow and encourage them to help water the crop each day. Explain the benefits of growing your own vegetables to your children, not only is this an exciting activity for the children it can also be very beneficial in terms of knowledge and education.

Take the kids shopping

If growing your own vegetables isn’t ideal for you this isn’t a problem. Another solution with getting children involved with food is to take them grocery shopping with you. Let them choose items that look fun and exciting and come up with new recipes together. Think of ways to create their favourite processed foods by using healthy alternatives.

Chicken nuggets can contain almost any part of a chicken, from the succulent and healthy meat, to the not so appealing insides, feet and even beak. Add in preservatives, colouring and other unknown ingredients and you can soon see how we loose track of what our children are consuming.

A cheap, healthy alternative to this is making your own chicken nuggets with chicken breast, flour, eggs, oil and breadcrumbs. Don’t think that using a little oil to cook these will make it just as unhealthy, our body needs a certain amount of fats and this way we can guarantee we know exactly what is going into our children’s tummies.

Encouraging them to cook and be creative

I normally employ a strict policy in our house that the kitchen is out of bounds for my daughter. With sharp knives, hot pans, boiling water and a low sitting oven there are many dangers that I would rather my daughter not encounter at the age of two. In saying this, my daughter loves to cook and food is easily one of her greatest passions already.

My solution to this was to buy my daughter her own range of child friendly cooking utensils, in bright colours obviously to help engage her attention. She has her own area of the kitchen where she can help me prepare the food yet it is far enough out of reach of anything dangerous. By creating a set of boundaries she has learned that although there may be some restrictions with certain activities, she can still have fun and explore the fascination of food in her own space.

As a parent, food has always been a high importance when it comes to my daughter. From the moment she could digest solid foods there was no doubt in my mind it would be home cooked food from the beginning. I believe this outlook is what has helped her to develop such a love for all types of food and this can only grow more and more positive each day. With a love for vegetables like pumpkin, leeks, sprouts and sweet potato as well as many types of meat, I am able to provide her with a well-balanced nutritional intake at a very young age.

Trying new foods

Don’t be afraid to explore new foods, you never know the results until you try. The older children get the more difficult it is to change their mind and their routine as they question why we would want to do such a thing. Stubbornness and strong will can also come into play when a child makes up their mind they don’t want to do something.

Don’t let this scare you though, as introducing new foods can in fact be fun and exciting we just need to come up with solutions to the problem and if all else fails we can always disguise food in the meals we prepare. If your child loves spaghetti bolognaise grate up some carrot and finely slice some mushroom to create a healthier alternative. Home made beef burgers and sausage rolls can be made with many types of vegetables also.

Eliminating junk food from the cupboards

Sometimes to achieve the results in which we desire we have to play the role of the not so favourite parent. Removing junk food from the cupboards, or placing it out of sight and out of reach is one way to start making a change in a child’s nutritional intake. Persistence is key with this step and although it may seem like a daunting task, in time your child will learn to appreciate what is available as apposed to dwelling on what is not.

Essential intake of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats

The science that is the intake of protein, carbohydrates and fats can be an art form, crunching numbers and trial and error are of importance here and this is greatly known by professional athletes, body builders and personal trainers.

When it comes to the nutritional intake of children, unless we are noticing dramatic levels of obesity or dangers of high cholesterol, diabetes and other health implications, the numbers game is something I like to steer clear of. Children need to have the freedom to explore new concepts and ideas, not be contained by a fixed daily food regime. So long as the food we provide for our children is healthy and as free of additives as possible we are on the right track to educating them on a healthy and active lifestyle.

Remember, creating such a lifestyle for our children is our main aim, but we need to find a comfortable balance, as each family is different. Take some time to plan it out and implement ideas one at a time. It can be a difficult process but rewarding in the long run.

For more tips on Child Nutrion, check out FitKids Online. FitKids Online is a site that I have developed to raise awareness of these issues and to educate parents on active children’s lifestyles. Being a parent, as well as a personal trainer, the issue of child obesity is something that is quite close to my heart. If through FitKids Online I can help even one child lead a more healthy and active lifestyle, than I can say it has been successful.

Also available is the FitKids Online’s eGuide “A Jumping Start to Life” where we will take a closer look as to why Child Obesity is becoming an epidemic and how it seems to be an issue that is spiralling out of control at a rapid pace.

I do hope this has been beneficial to you in one way or another, and has possibly opened your eyes to an issue that for many years has gone unnoticed. If you do take a moment to look at fitkidsonline.co, I hope you find some valuable information, and I look forward to hearing any responses, questions and queries.