There is a lot of concern about children’s health in America at the moment. This is not a new phenomenon – Calvin Coolidge initiated the annual ‘Child Health Day’ in 1928. It is held on the first Monday of October each year. Health professionals from across America meet to discuss child nutrition, fitness, obesity and health education.
Most health professionals agree that the key to healthy choices is education from an early age before bad habits have time to form. Parents need to protect and develop their children’s health from the start.
Apparently, one in six children in America is obese, and that can lead to health problems such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
What can we do?
The problem today is that children have access to computers, electronic games and of course television. Obviously, this is all sedentary pastimes and kids are not getting enough exercise.
In the past, the kids played on the street with their friends who ran here, there and everywhere – first by coming home when they were hungry or when it got dark. These days, safety-conscious parents are unwilling to allow their children alone – it’s much easier and safer to leave them sitting in front of the television or on a computer. In addition, children are usually run due to time constraints and work commitments everywhere by parents.
One solution to this problem is to enroll your child in one of the many available child education schemes. Many of these schemes combine games and training and learning and can greatly improve your child’s social and behavioral skills.
A child’s diet is important.
Another major problem in children’s health care is diet.
First, it is important to lead by example – overweight parents tend to have overweight children. Serve a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and see the portion size – a seven or eight year old doesn’t need an adult portion. Cut down on snacks and fizzy drinks – or make sure snacks are healthy. Kids can easily get used to peeled carrots (very crunchy and sweet), apple and banana slices or seedless grapes.
If you take your child to one of the excellent childcare providers, make sure their lunch box is packed with healthy food.
You can give peeled slices of raw vegetables with a yogurt dip, some whole wheat bread, a favorite fruit, some cold chicken, a mixed salad with sweet corn and grated carrot – and to drink, water or half-skimmed milk. Whatever you make cookies, chips, chocolates and fizzy drinks!