Summer is here and the kids are home!
In the past, during summer break, children used to live an active lifestyle and often slimmed down during the hot summer months.
But these days, children are becoming more and more sedentary and often choose to sit in front of the TV or play with their iPad, instead of spending time outdoors.
And as parents and doctors are now finding out, the consequences of living a sedentary lifestyle are dangerous.
Due to lack of movement, children now face severe health risks, as they are packing on the pounds at a young age.
Diabetes, obesity, and food intolerance are all real diseases harming young children. And as they continue to age, it only gets worse.
U.S. News reported:
“The average child spends five to seven hours in front of some type of screen like a phone, iPad, TV or other device. They’re also likely to be snacking when viewing digital media. As a result, studies show that young children are piling on pounds.
In fact, researchers at the University of Texas who followed 18,101 children from kindergarten through second grade found that kids are more likely to become overweight or obese during the summer break, when weight gain occurs at double to triple the rate of the school year. Researchers blame summer weight gain on insufficient or irregular sleep, too much screen time, inadequate physical activity, increased snacking and too much access to food.”
But there are things you can do to prevent the “summer pile on” of pounds.
First, limit the amount of screen time your child has. Perhaps set aside time in the morning and at night, but during the day, your children should be active and on the go.
If children are left to their own devices, they’ll often default to playing video games or surfing social media.
Encourage your children to play outside. Organize fun games of freeze tag, or a game of one-on-one basketball. Go for a bike ride or hike with them.
Teach your children there are plenty of activities that will help them exercise, and have fun at the same time!
Next, watch the snacks your child consumes.
Sitting in front of the TV, it’s easy for children to consume high-calorie foods such as ice cream, chips, candy, and sugar!
Create healthy snacks for your child to munch on.
Cut up fresh watermelon slices, and leave fresh fruit on the counter. Or you can even get creative and make homemade popsicles using fresh fruit!
You can teach your child at a young age that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to cut out ice cream and other summer favorites altogether, just make it a treat instead of an everyday thing!
And most importantly, make sure your child gets enough sleep.
Kids need an average of 9-11 hours to fully rest and recover from the day. Make sleep a priority in your home.
By keeping your kids healthy and active this summer, you can keep them on a good routine and prevent them from gaining weight.
(h/t Mommy Underground)