Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Basic Facts About Children and Dieting

by Wendy Wood

Children and Obesity. While nutrition experts have yet to come to an agreement regarding the pros and cons of children adopting diet plans, the continually rising rate of childhood obesity makes it clear that something needs to be done. Recent studies show that 1 out of every 6 children under the age of 13 is overweight. Many people believe that the sedentary nature of our society, combined with the convenience of processed foods has created a dangerous precedence in child nutrition. Obesity affects children both physically and mentally, and can have significant effects on adult health as well. While many nutritionists balk at the idea of regimented dieting for children, all agree that a return to healthier eating habits is the first step in combating this growing trend.

Diet and Energy Levels As more children are spending their free time in front of a computer screen or television, on average, kids are expending too little energy. Coupled with dwindling physical education programs and on-the-go dietary choices, it is no wonder that more children than ever are facing problems with their weight. In many ways, it is a vicious cycle; improper nutrition creates a lack of energy reserves which makes it more difficult to exercise and failure to get adequate exercise only exacerbates the problem. Just as with adults, children need a proper balance of nutrition and physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

Caution! Monitoring Your Child's Diet for Hazards Before starting your child on a strict diet, which should only take place under the supervision of a doctor, there are some things you can do to positively affect your child's eating habits. Limiting certain foods, while encouraging more healthy choices is a great way to promote a nutritional diet that does not seem completely restrictive. The following tips can help you to establish a healthy view towards food and weight in your child.

Keep Sugar Moderate. While most kids love candy, cookies and other sweets, too much sugar can play havoc with their energy levels. Additionally, refined sugars add little nutritional value to your child's diet. Try replacing processed sweets with naturally sweet foods like fruits.

Watch Out for Caffeine. Many adults are addicted to the caffeine rush that comes with drinking coffee, but what parents do not realize is that soda can have the same effect on children. There is nothing wrong with giving your child soda on special occasions, but it is better to stick to milk, juice or water on a regular basis. Aside from the caffeine overload, soda has no nutritional content and adds empty calories to your child's diet.

Implement Non food Rewards. Instead of treating your kids to ice cream when they get good grades, try rewarding them with a desired CD or other non-food item. Psychologically seeing junk food as a reward can lead to poor food decisions on the part of your child.

About the Author
Wendy Wood is a full-time mom in the process of losing extra pounds and loves to show other moms how they can lose weight and be healthier as well. Sign up for your free healthy recipes at http://www.DietMamma.com



Basic Facts About Children and Dieting



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