As a child care specialist, I have noticed a huge difference in overall growing of a child in the last 14 years. The kids have not only become mature at an early age but also most of them are obese. The change of lifestyle over a decade is quite visible.
Obesity has become a big problem in Indian kids today.
As per the recent study by “The New England Journal of Medicine”, “India has second highest obese children in the world”. This is actually very scary data.
This made me think what are we leaving our children with?
After discussing this issue for about a year with the parents of children coming to me for consultation. There are four key reasons which came out as a major problem.
- 1. No physical activity and no outdoor playing.
- 2. Kids are occupied with screens all the time be it computer, mobile phone, video games,
- tablets or television.
- 3. Kids have nobody to play with - No siblings or friends.
- The concept of nuclear family has made them deprived of their grandparents as well. And
- parents do not have time to play with their kid.
- 4. Kids inclined more towards binge eating, junk food and fried food. They prefer pizza, burger,
- fries over fruits and vegetables.
Now, we exactly know the problems, but what about the solutions? The solution is simple.
- 1. Be a role model – Children learn by example. Take your child for a walk in the garden or a
- swimming pool in the nearby club. Playing in the park r swimming with your child will not
- only allow you to spend some quality time together but will also help in building your bond
- 2. Encourage at least for 60 minutes of physical activity during the day. It can be broken down
- into two, 30 minutes or four 15 minutes, depending upon your schedule.
- You can enrol your kids into any of the class like judo, swimming, dance, skating. There are
- multiple options available now a days.
- 3. Make healthy eating choices – Eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, dairy products
- instead of burger or pizza. You can make some intelligent choices by making a pizza of wheat
- floor (instead of maida) with vegetables as its toping.
- 4. Reduce screen time –Give your child options like board games, work sheets which can keep
- them busy. Also, fix a time for watching/playing on screens.
- 5. Most important, your child should be happy in whatever he/she does.