Today’s kids are getting bigger, and is it any wonder? Walk into most grocery stores and notice what they’re selling in large quantities: potato chips, soda pop, chocolates, and all sorts of processed foods. If your family doesn’t watch what it eats, it can be very easy to take in more calories than you need, leading to chubby kids, chubby parents, etc.
So how can parents today help fight childhood obesity? The answer is simple: real food. Not the kind of food made in a factory with chemicals and additives– instead, real food is unprocessed and unrefined. It doesn’t have additives. It’s just natural. What are some examples of real foods? Fruits and vegetables are perfect examples. It’s better to eat an apple than to drink “apple juice” from a juice box. Why? Because that juice isn’t just natural apple juice. It probably has added sugar in the form of “high fructose corn syrup” to sweeten the taste.
What do people crave? They want salt, sugar and fat in their food. In limited quantities, these are all okay. But today’s processed foods are loaded with them, to the point where kids are packing on pounds. Instead of eating M&M’s, try blueberries. Instead of French fries at the restaurant, get broccoli. Having a salad? Go easy on the salad dressing!
Take some time to read labels and know what’s actually in the foods your family eats. For instance, if there are “hydrogenated oils,” that’s not going to help your kid lose weight. If there are artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose or saccharin, those aren’t the best, either. Even items labelled “diet” or “low-fat” can be deceiving. In reality, they have additives and may not be that healthy!
Kids are going to want to choose junk food over real food. That said, as a parent you can influence your child’s choices and make sure they’re getting more and more real foods in their diet to help fight childhood obesity.