We live in worrying times. Every time you turn on the news, there seems to be another report on child obesity. It’s a big problem, and it sounds like it will get worse. However, by committing to live a healthier lifestyle, we can all do our bit to prevent the crisis. Or, at least, make sure that our children don’t suffer. Here are some ideas I use - give them a go, or feel free to make some more suggestions!
We hit the beach
We’re so lucky to live in Devon - you’re always close to a beach down here. And it’s the perfect playground for children. Not only do they get plenty of fresh sea air, but they can’t help themselves from exercising. Running around, playing with balls, building sand castles - not to mention climbing sand dunes. If you are lucky enough to live near a beach - use it!
We take fun holidays
Whenever we go on holiday, we always try to do some kind of activity. There are plenty of options out there for active holidays with kids, and there is something for everyone, whatever your interests. We find it gives the holiday a lovely focus, keeps the kids entertained and, most importantly, gets them to sleep quickly at bedtime!
We cook our own meals
One of the biggest problems with this obesity crisis is that many of us eat unhealthy foods. There are far more ready meals, fast food and sugary foodstuffs than fruit and veg sections in almost any supermarket. One easy way to cut down on the unhealthy stuff is to cook your own meals. This will allow you to make sure you know exactly what is in your food - and it’s much cheaper, too. Also, don’t forget to give your kids plenty of water - hydration is a vital part of staying healthy.
We don’t use sweets as treats
I had an interesting conversation with a health visitor recently. Apparently, kids love sweets even more than they should because their parents give them to them as a prize for good behaviour. It doubles the reward for children, in effect. It also makes them more likely to be obese when they grow older. Scary? So, maybe think about giving them their favourite fruits for a treat instead?
We encourage sport
We like to encourage as much sport as possible in our household. It has obvious health benefits, but when they get a little older, there will be other advantages, too. If they want to join a weekend sports team, there will also be a lot of opportunities to make more friends and get a wider social circle.
We love climbing
Climbing is an excellent way to build strength, improve balance and develop other skills you need. And all kids love it! They start with sofas, progress to stairs, and before you know it they’ll be shinning up trees. Once they are old enough, you should give your kids a run-out at a climbing wall. They’re great fun, very safe, and burn those calories.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. I’m always keen to hear about new ideas for keeping our families healthy, so let me know if you have any. I’d love to hear from you...