Helping Your Child Beat the Obesity Epidemic

While home cooked healthy meals are best, it is not always possible with parent’s busy work schedules. Families are eating out more regularly than ever before. The increase in restaurant meals is contributing to the widespread obesity problem. Here’s how to beat the problem.

✓ Parents are encouraged to give specific guidelines to nannies and care takers around their children’s recreation.

✓ Children should have limits on the amount of time permitted watching TV and on electronic devices with a minimum time spent on fun, dynamic activities enforced by caretakers.

✓ While temperatures may sometimes be a limiting factor spent outdoors playing sports, there are an increasing number of community centers and gyms in Dubai. There are also many at home affordable equipment options that don’t require much space including skipping ropes, abs gliders, adjustable weight dumbbells and exercise benches. This makes it possible to remain active even when the weather may be too hot or humid to exercise outdoors.

✓ Filling the fridge and pantry with a variety of healthy, whole foods choices is essential. It is imperative to keep junk food out of the house as children/teens will only be able to eat what is made available to them.

✓ Just as important however as what we are eating is how much we are eating. Serving sizes presented need to be appropriate for the size, age and activity level of the child/teen. When preparing and serving a meal for the whole family it is not appropriate for a small child for example to be served the same portion size as an adult male father. Parents and care givers need to be aware of this and use a common sense approach at meal and snack times not only with the quality of food being served but the quantity as well. Over-eating even healthy foods will lead to weight gain; portion control is always necessary.

Credit: Heather Marr Author of The Model Trainer Method