We are often asked, “When should I do something if I think my child is overweight?” This is a good question that all parents should ask themselves. And the best time to think about it is before it’s a real issue.
We know that you have enough to worry about these days, and adding even one more thing can be overwhelming. But making sure your child develops healthy eating habits early in life is so important. Studies show that those who suffer with childhood obesity have a high likelihood of carrying the extra weight into adulthood.
On the other hand, babies and young toddlers tend to go through “chubby” phases, usually associated with normal growth patterns. With our kids, they would put on weight, then go into a “growth spurt” and turn that weight into height, while getting skinny as a rail. This pattern repeated itself a number of times during their childhood years. So, when you should do something, and what should you do?
Once your child starts on solid food, you can start to help them develop healthy habits. These habits will help minimize the chance that obesity will ever be an issue. The vast majority of child obesity cases can be traced back to poor eating habits. One recent study found that 80 percent of today’s health issues were a result of poor lifestyle choices (including eating habits), and only 20 percent were traced to heredity! This is great news for parents because you have such a huge influence on your children’s lifestyle choices, especially at an early age.
It is so much easier for kids to lose weight and keep it off if they do it before they enter puberty. When children enter their teen years, their bodies establish a “weight set point,” which is the weight range that each person’s body naturally settles into. So, as a parent, it’s important to act as soon as possible, while your child has the best chance of creating a healthy weight set point.
Making sure your child develops healthy eating habits early, will have a huge and lasting impact on their life. As we always like to say, healthy choices you (and your child) make each day can transform your family for generations. What choices will you and your child make today?
To learn more about how to get your kids to eat healthy, check out our FREE ebook, Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? It’s available on our website.
You may also want to read: Portion Size Matters, A Symptom of Deeper Issues