You’re in a major city, let’s say New York. You’re on Business Trip and you’re hungry. It happens to be Lunch Hour, but you decided to pull into McDonald’s anyway. You grab a McDouble Medium Combo. Unaware of how many calories are laden in that delicious meal. The McDouble has 390 calories, Medium Fries has 380 calories, while the Medium Cola has 210 calories. Are you adding these up? That’s 980 calories in one meal.
Still unaware of the calories you’re eating, you can’t help but notice all the kids. Yep, it’s Summer Time and Moms make it a convenience to head to McDonald’s or any other Fast Food joint when they can. The problem you see however is the sheer number of over weight kids. Some of them far worse off than their parents as far as obesity goes. You think for a moment, ‘wait a minute, kids aren’t supposed to be fat.’
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.
Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed—and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.
Honestly, I have to disagree with the Genetic factor in weight control issues. Yes, Genetics does have a factor in how tall we’ll be, what we end up looking like, and overall our maximum strength and capacity. Just because your Mamma was Fat, doesn’t mean you will be. Fat only increases because of Calories and Toxins that we put into our bodies. This mentality, is merely an excuse to stay fat and not work on it.
Now that we have that opinion out of the way. Children who are obese are more likely to have heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. That is if the Obesity carries on over into Adulthood. As a parent, you’re effectively reducing your Child’s chance of survival, not to mention their lifespan.
Observing Children’s Eating Habits
Have you ever just sat down and watched Children eat? I mean seriously sit down and watch them. If you watch Children that don’t have heavy parent regulations, you might actually learn a thing or two from them. Now, I’m not saying that Parent regulation is bad, just hinting that there might be too much of it. So go ahead, watch the kids eat next time you get a chance. Maybe at a Family Gathering or something like that.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that kids are picky eaters. Not in the sense that they like very few things, but that they’ll pick a little bit of this, eat a little bit of that, and grab a small bite of the next food on their plate. Kids don’t like to be rushed, it’s us who have the busy lifestyle. Slow Down a Bit Mom, enjoy the meal.
Also, never ever force a kid to eat all the food on their plate. I always cringe when I hear parents say eat all of your food. Especially when the kid says, “but I’m full.” I can understand some parents arguments, “but if I let them go now, they’ll want a snack later.” Here’s the thing, they don’t need a snack all the time. That’s one more thing that’s making them Fat. If they absolutely have to have something to eat, then try giving them some fruit as a snack. They don’t need Little Debbie snack cakes. An occasional Little Debbie snack cake isn’t bad. Just try something healthier more often.
Children are always changing what they eat. Yep, there’s that word again, Variety. One year they like this, the next year they like that, you get the idea. It’s up to the parents of the Child to add Variety and keep it around the house.
What Can You Do?
For starters, quit yelling at them. Telling them to eat all the food on their plates does nothing but make them mad and overweight. Take a lesson or two from the Kids and slow down a bit yourself. It takes for the Brain to register you’re full anyway. No wonder kids are slow eaters.
Try serving them smaller potion sizes. They don’t need massive portions like you server them. They do have smaller stomachs after all. Also, give them a smaller plate or bowl. It’ll make them think they’re getting a lot when they’re really not. Psychology can play a roll here.
Add vibrant colors like fruit to the mix. Children naturally love the vibrant colors and also love eating things that they make or help make.
Always Add Foods, Don’t Restrict Them. Remember, that Variety is the Key and we don’t want your kids being fussy eaters. Add Healthy Foods into the diet until there is a good Variety. Once you’ve reached the good Variety, then you can slowly start cutting out the junk.
The only thing I would honestly say restrict, is the amount of Sugar they’re allowed to have. Sugar is the #1 Enemy, not Fat. I’m not saying that Fat can’t make you Fat, but focus on Sugar for now. Start with getting rid of the Soft Drinks like Cola and Pepsi. They may as well be just Sugar and Water.
In conclusion, don’t try to do everything at once. Slowly add things and slowly take away. You’ll be fine and your kids will thank you for it too. You just might even find that you start losing weight once you start dropping that Sugar. Not to mention the other health benefits you’ll get, longer lifespan, more time with the grandkids, more energy to do things, etc etc.
What other eating habits of Children have you observed? Do you think there is a thing or two we could learn from Children?