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Keeping Your Little One Fit

There is nothing more adorable than chubby baby legs marching around the room as he takes those first steps, but even before he’s walking, parents are responsible for keeping baby happy and healthy. At first, it’s relatively simple to feed baby correctly, simple offer the breast or bottle every few hours when baby is hungry. But now that you have a toddler on your hands, you have to balance their food and their exercise to be sure the little one in your life is growing up fit and healthy.

Obesity Starts Young
Rising rates of childhood obesity are well-known to most parents and they dedicate themselves to ensuring that their child doesn’t ever wind up severely overweight and inactive. This starts considerably younger than the school years. If you consider your baby as learning a foundation for the future, it’s much easier to set the correct standards for food and exercise.

Skip the Junk Food – Almost everything is okay in moderation, but toddlers aren’t known for just sampling something yummy. If you’re concerned about your children eating too much sugar or too much processed food, simply don’t offer it to them – this includes many of the jarred baby food items. It can be a challenge at times as there is so much sugar and fat around us in everything offered in restaurants and grocery store items, but even the busiest moms can find a way around most of the worst offenders. The microwave can work wonders with steamed vegetables and chicken breasts after all.

Balance the Bad Stuff – As your baby gets a bit older he’ll learn what treats are supposed to come from the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. He’ll realize that cake comes with parties and pizza is often served even at school functions. Unless you feel these items are completely off-limits for your child, let them have cake and pizza with their friends at lunch to celebrate the class party. For dinner and breakfast over the next day or two, focus on all the healthy fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates that can help keep things balanced at least. The rare treat of junk is just that – a treat. Keep it that way and everyone will be better off.

Get Outside – The most commonly cited reason for obesity in children outside of the horrible diet many eat is the lack of time children spend actively engaged outside. Find your child a safe place to run and play and make it a point to get outside every day. Children can’t really run, climb, jump and explore inside properly. They need open space such as a backyard or park to do so effectively.

Even if you don’t have a lot of greenery around your house, you can still walk outside with your little one and walk down to the mailbox or the bank every day when you run errands to get fresh air and a chance to move a bit. Encouraging movement and making it a point to get outside together might very well be the best way to stave off obesity as your children grow older and develop habits of their own.

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