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Childhood Obesity –Top Ten Tips to Healthy Family Weight

Childhood Obesity –Top Ten Tips to Healthy Family Weight Evergreen.ie1. Eat Together as a Family 

As difficult as this may be with busy schedules eating the same meal, together, not only allows time to slow down and catch up on the day’s news but builds healthy attitudes to food focusing on the social aspect rather than ‘fussy eaters’

2. Make a List

For your supermarket shop and stick to it – or better yet leave the children at home if possible. Avoid shopping when hungry

3. Cook from Fresh Ingredients 

You don’t have to be the best chef in the world but eating more things that you can name – e.g. carrots, potatoes, chicken, eggs, simply cooked while avoiding processed, frozen, pre prepared foods goes a long way towards improving your families health.

4. Stop Drinking Calories 

Children should have milk or water as their main drinks. Juices and fizzy drinks should be avoided for both healthy weight and teeth. Many people are now consuming up to half their daily calorie needs as drinks. Teach children to drink for thirst.

5. Portion Control 

Many people may prepare healthy meals but eat large portions. As a rule of thumb, at dinner, children should have a piece of protein (meat, fish, tofu) the size of the palm of their hand, carbohydrate (pasta, rice) the size of their fist and at least as much veg as they can pick up in two handfuls.

6. Keep a Food Diary for a Week

Children can only eat what they get access to, from adults directly or through pocket money, so be honest with yourself and see if there are any bad food habits that it may benefit all in the family to break.

7. Understand Labels 

If there are more than 10 ingredients or a list of words you can’t even pronounce then it is likely your choice is highly processed and high in salt, sugar or fat.

8. Exercise Together 

Children need 60 minutes vigorous exercise per day to maintain a healthy weight, Adults need at least 30 minutes. Whenever possible exercise together – play tag, kick a ball around, wrap up and get out for a walk.

9. Limit Screen Time 

Children under 3 should have little or no screen time daily (TV, computer games, iPads) and older children should ideally have less than 1 hour. Avoid televisions or computer access in bedrooms.

10. Be a Role Model 

Children are great mimics. Try new foods, get off the bus a stop early, drink water, snack on fruit or yoghurt,– small habits build the foundations of healthy living.

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