When a ten year old Kritika entered my clinic she was already limping due to her 70kg weight and by the moment she sat in front of me she was breathless already —hardly 50 steps and this condition!!! Is this what we call love for our children????
Unfortunately, childhood obesity has become an epidemic today. It has significantly impacted the physical and psychological health of our children. As per research, obese children have a higher chance of staying obese as they turn adults. They might also develop diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases at a younger age compared to non-obese children.
According to WHO, there are nearly 43 million overweight kids under the age of 5. By 2020, nearly 60% of diseases around the globe will be because of obesity. Don’t get too worried as these are just research statistics. But yes, every day in my clinic I see minimum three children moving towards obesity and parents being helpless as the habits we inculcate since their birth are now showing its repercussions. Integrated health care can help parents like you deal with child obesity. Let me make you understand how we can do it holistically!
Causes of Obesity in Children-
The most common causes of childhood obesity include genetic factors, inadequate physical activity, and unhealthy eating patterns. In rare cases, childhood obesity may be a result of medical conditions like hormone problems.
A poor diet containing higher levels of fat and sugar and comparatively fewer nutrients may result in kids gaining weight quickly. Parents should pay close attention to the eating habits of their children and overall lifestyle to reduce obesity and ensure holistic health care for their little ones.
Natural Remedies and Holistic Health Treatments: Healthy Eating
When you go food shopping, choose fruits and vegetables over crackers, cookies and other prepared snacks which are often high in fats and calories.
Try to prepare food with fun element e.g. make cartoon faces on a plate with the help of fruits or salads, it will attract the kids and shift them to healthy items. Limit sweetened beverages and fast food as they offer lower nutritional values and higher calories rather give them fresh lemon juice with gur or make zoodles out of vegetables along with herbs for it will activate their taste buds and boost their immune system.
You should also consider sitting down together for family meals and avoid distractions like TV or mobile phones. Remember to serve appropriate portions – children don’t need as much food as adults. Restaurant food can be an option once a month rather than every weekend.
How about adding honey to milk instead of sugar??? It is sweet plus it will calm down the hyperactive brains of your super child and help them sleep peacefully. There are other benefits of honey too; adding honey to your child’s diet can help in burning fat and excess calories. So the next time whenever your child demands energy, give lukewarm water with honey and ginger.
Other measures that can be taken on a day to day basis are:
Encourage your children to drink warm water 30 minutes before and after their meals to lose weight. Tomatoes and cucumber with black pepper and lemon are good for liver and kidney so try it half an hour before meals.
Green leafy vegetables are high in fibre but none of the kids like it so give it to them either in form of soup or stuff it in chapattis. The chapattis will make them fell full for a longer period. This helps in reducing the need to indulge in fast food. Fennel seeds also help in treating childhood obesity by limiting food cravings. Make a powder of carom seeds and fennel seeds along with raw coconut and give it to them post meals to chew it well. It helps in fast digestion and also suppresses their cravings.
In today’s tech world every child is hyperactive isn’t it??? That activity is only on the mental level as far as the physical level is considered there’s hardly any activity. When we say holistic health care is a solution to reduce childhood obesity we don’t mean only diet rather we aim to channelize the child’s energy towards physical activity.
For being active helps in reducing weight, strengthening bones and muscles, and burning calories. It also supports better sleep and promotes alertness during the day. Try to limit TV and screen time to 1 hour for toddlers and not more than 2 hours for older kids. Encourage free-play activity like hide-and-seek, jump rope, slides and swings, etc. You can also take part in activities with your child and as a family make it a fun activity so that they look forward to it.
Remember that integrated healthcare in Pune is all about a healthy lifestyle for your little ones. Holistic health treatments are always better than medications and thus, as parents, you should try your best to offer a healthy and nutritious diet for your children. Together, we can fight childhood obesity and look forward to a healthy future for our nation.