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An increasing number of children from developed countries are becoming overweight and obese. That places those children at risk because of the health issues that go with having weight problems.
The rise of childhood obesity have numerous causes and one of those is the popularity of soda drinks among kids. In the next few minutes, you will learn why soda is causing childhood obesity.
Childhood Obesity Problem
How bad is the childhood obesity problem?
It has been mentioned that children in developed countries are becoming overweight in increasing numbers but how bad is the problem?
It has reached the point where it should be alarming. It is estimated that one out of verey four child in developed countries is either obese or overweight.
The extra pounds on those kids place them at risk of getting various health problems. Those health issues that they might get include:
- Heart disease
On top of those health issues, obesity can also cause emotional problems. Children who are overweight might have a hard time keeping up with the physical activities of other kids of their age. That could leave them feeling left out.
There is also the potential that other kids could exclude them from activities and tease them. What is even worse is that obese kids might get bullied because of their weight. While bullying should be addressed and not condoned among children, it would be better overall if a child becoming overweight and obese can be prevented.
Reasons Why Soda is Causing Child Obesity
There are many factors that are contributing towards the rise of childhood obesity and soda is one of those. So how is this type of beverage causing children to gain weight? Here are some reasons:
- Sugar Content
The most obvious reason why soda is contributing towards children becoming overweight is because of its high sugar content. Just how much sugar is there in the soda that your kids are drinking? You might be surprised to learn that 12 ounces of soda can contain 10 teaspoonfuls of sugar. No wonder, you’ll end up with diabetes if you keep on drinking it.
- Sugary Drinks Don’t Make Your Kids Feel Full
Sugary drinks supply large amounts of fructose. The problem with fructose is that it does not give that feeling satiety. What does mean? It means your child can drink large amounts of soda and still not feel full. She could end up eating and drinking way more than what you should.
- Sugar Gets Turned into Fat
So what if soda beverages have lots of sugar?
The problem is that the sugar that you consume through foods and drinks get turned into fat when the liver processes it. As we have seen earlier, soda comes in packed with lots and lots of sugar.
- Sugar Increases Belly Fat Accumulation
Do you notice your child’s belly getting bigger and fatter? That could be because sugar increases belly fat accumulation. This is also known as visceral fat and it can make your child become overweight and even obese in a short period if you don’t do something about it.
- Soda Brings Empty Calories
Another major problem with soda is that it can only deliver empty calories. What does that mean? It means that except for sugar, your child is not getting any other nutrients from soda beverages and we already know that too much sugar is bad.
- It can be Addictive
When sugar is consumed, dopamine is released in the brain which triggers a sense of pleasure. That sense can become addictive to some kids. Once they are hooked on the sugary pleasure, it would be difficult to break the habit.
It’s also worth noting that the companies making these soda products are using containers with larger sizes. This practice is driving kids to drink even more of their sugar water.
The good news is that you can always do something about it, so your child does not become overweight because of soda or for any other reason. It is up to you to ensure that your child will have a proper and balanced diet. Introduce your child to better and healthier drinks like juices and smoothies.
You also have to be a good example to your child. You cannot prevent her from drinking soda, while you continue drinking sugar water.
It’s hard to comprehend asking a tutor to add even one activity in their existing curriculum. However, what could have been the case if it was something which could have accomplished both learning objectives at ago? On the surface, cooking is well suited in a home kitchen, when parents have space, time and inclination to have fun with their children. On the other side, cooking is a perfect method through which children can exercise math skills, see science in action, develop healthy habits and learn new vocabulary to last in a life time. Through cooking in classes, the students will be able to learn language arts, social studies, develop skills, learn math and science.
- A math cooking class.
Cooking in a mathematics class will help the students learn quantities and also less and more through the measurement of ingredients and manipulation. They can also be able to do experiments with an approach to solving a certain mathematics problem. This will also assist them learn and practice multiplication, division and doubling or halving a recipe.
- Language arts
Through the reading and following the recipe in a classroom can help the students learn the art of following instructions, sequencing, asking the relevant questions and even learn communication skills. In addition, cooking has a language of its own. Chefs are able to learn some new vocabulary during the process.
Cooking is generally a chemistry in action. Have you ever came to notice that when an egg is raw is in liquid state but on cooking it turns to a solid state? Then what of the shaking of some cream in some jar to make butter, how does it happen? Students then can be in apposition to learn the source of each food they consume. As a matter of fact, students will be able to learn on healthy eating habits which will be able to last in their lifetime.
- Social studies
Cooking can be used in social studies to help students know on how to follow rules and regulation for a better citizenship. It will also be a good method of exploring the various cultures of the peers. The process of learning how the various foods are grown is a super introduction to economics, business and the distribution of goods countrywide or even across the world.
- Equip students with the essential life skills
The art of cooking among the essential life skills which only a few students can do. Most of the students have been taking the expensive ready meals which have a low nutritional value and some heap load of fats, calories, sugars and salts. Based on a study conducted, most students lack knowledge and skills in the kitchen which results in showing some very little interest in even cooking their own meals. When cooking is introduced in schools, and food technology made compulsory, students will be able to acquire some motivation plan and guidance, produce and prepare meals of their choice and master the basic kitchen skills.
- Promote healthy lifestyle
We cannot deny that take away foods such as McDonalds, KFC and Dominos are among the popular for most students. We too cannot evade the fact that they at times serve some unhealthy food at a low prices. For example, a piece of pizza can contain 16 grams of fat, 310 calories. If then your purchase the eight pieces then will have taken a total of 128 grams of fat and 2,480 calories. Food technology particularly the home economics will help students get to know the nutritional breakdown of the various foods and the various nutrients required in the body for a proper functioning. When the students acquire a good understanding of vitamins, minerals a d nutrients, their teacher will be in a position to encourage them on the possible substitutes for the popular take outs.
- Potential career opportunity
When students have an exposure to baking and cooking, they will be in a position to discover some hidden potential as well as gaining the idea of working in the hospitality and catering industries. The above reasons will then be able to prove that cookery and food technology should be made compulsory in educational sector across all ages. I therefore hope that schools and the relevant ministries shall take note of this and introduce such subjects in their curriculum
Among the main objectives of child related organizations such as the National Quality Framework is to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of every child attending both child care and educational services. When a child is diagnosed with some allergy, health care need and some relevant medical condition join a day care or an educational center, some additional requirements should be met for ensuring the safety of the child, well being and health is protected. It is vital for such services have procedures and policies put in place to manage the diagnosed allergies, health care needs and the relevant health conditions which are recommended to ensure regular basis.
With enrollment of any new children in some service, it is vital for the given services to make sure all prescribed info related to the diagnosed allergies, any relevant medical condition and health needs should be collected from guardians then included in the enrollment record. Such services should also involve a review of the enrollment record of a child, which have some continuation of some services from the previous year to make sure the current service is aware of any changes and the accuracy.
Child enrollment record
Before the start of any service operation for a year, you should have a review of both new enrollment and existing records conducted to make sure all relevant information concerning allergies and health care needs is current. The enrollment record regulation includes:
- Health care details need of any child comprising allergies and medical conditions and if such a child is diagnosed as the risk of anaphylaxis.
- Medical management plan, risk minimization, anaphylaxis medical management should be followed with respect to the identified allergy, medical condition and health care need of dietary restrictions for the given child.
Authorizations and medication
Health care services should ensure that prior to starting any service, the necessary authorizations should be kept in the record and be sought out. They include the details of people authorized to administer the child’s medication and consent to the medical treatment. The concerns of the administration of a child with any medical condition should include a good procedure which has the requirements of the given regulation. Such procedures involve both the non-prescription and prescription medication to be administered before the use or expiry date. Administration of any medication to a child require a medication record which helps set out the required details, then the staff should have an understanding of the record and how to complete it.
Staff first aid qualifications and training
It is always recommended that the services provided to any child have an access to the health care needs, medical conditions and allergies identified. This then leads to the determination of whether the available resources and the recommended processes are enough to ensure an appropriate management of such children.
These services ensure that a minimum of one educator has the below qualifications at any place where children are taken care of.
- Should be a holder of first aid qualifications.
- Should have undertaken the current and approved anaphylaxis training
- Should have undertaken an approved emergency asthma training.
Such people should be holders of either one or more qualifications.
Family day care services
Family day care services should ensure each educator assistant register or engage with the regulated services. They should also be holders the above qualifications. It’s also their responsibility to ensure they have the qualified and approved first aid qualification as in the day care regulations.
First aid kits
To meet the child health care regulations, health cares and home day cares should ensure that they recommend services which conduct audit of first aid kits available on regular basis including
- Should be available in appropriate numbers.
- Should be readily available and easy to recognize.
- Should be suitably equipped.
For health care and family day care services, they should ensure first aid kits are readily accessible, suitably equipped and easily recognizable.
Medical condition policy
The main aim of a medical condition policy is to ensure that the set out services are done in relation to the components listed in health regulations. The regulation requires parents provide the medical management plan. It also requires the development of the minimization of risk and the relevant information it should contain. A copy of any medical policy should too be given to the guardian of the child enrolled in any day care services.
The early years of a child’s life can be the most crucial for their development. Many things affect the way they grow and perceive the world around them, including their physical health. Children need to play and be physical, and get enough sleep; but perhaps the most important aspect for them is their need for a healthy diet. A child’s health can be compromised if they do not receive the proper number of calories and nutrients. Nutrition can affect children’s growth physically, intellectually, and even emotionally.
The most obvious development for a child is physical. The right kinds, and the right amounts, of food can help children grow properly with few health issues. Whenever a child is malnourished, this can lead to unsettling setbacks later in life. According to Dakota Karratti, writer of How Poor Nutrition Affects Child Development , a study published by Dr. H. Peter Chase and Dr. Harold P. Martin found that malnourished children under the age of one were smaller than children who were not. It is important to note that infant nutrition can carry its effects throughout adolescence.
Undernourishment can indeed affect a child’s growth, but the opposite can also be just as devastating. Overfeeding a young child may seem to be a nurturing thing to do for them, but high caloric intake creates chronic illnesses for them later in life. Karratti references the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study of overeating on kids. Poor nutrition creates burdensome weight issues for children that causes health complications for them in later years.
Poor health from lack of proper nutrition can delay the development of a child’s mind as well. These setbacks may not be as noticeable as physical development, but can force a child to fall behind academically. According to Karratti, a 2010 study from The Journal of Nutrition discovered that underfed two-year-olds had 16 percent higher chances of failing at least one grade in school later in life. In that same study, they were more likely to start school later in life as well.
Underachieving in school for these underfed students can have adverse effects on them long term. Karratti says the scientist that conducted the research concluded that an unhealthy child would see a 10 percent decrease in their lifetime income because of their school performance. Their mental ability is also compromised as underfed children cannot get enough calories to support proper brain function.
A child’s poor health can have severe effects on them on an emotional level. Many poor children may struggle with the pangs of hunger, and this may reduce their concentration in school. However, more perplexing issues can rise as well. According to wholenewmom,children who are underfed will have a lack minerals, like calcium, which is important for developing emotions properly. Without these mineral, a child has a higher chance of developing anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia later in life.
The health of a child also affects their behavior. Children who do not get enough to eat will see developmental delay in their behavior and attitude. According to wholenewmom, in the first two years of a child’s life, if they do not get enough to eat, they will become withdrawn. This may be due to feeling inadequate because of their lack of available food. They will also be less physically active and will be less willing to help others.
Under-nutrition seems to play a negative role in a child’s social development. Karratti states that, according to a National Institute of Health study done on psychological development of children, social behaviors were more likely to suffer from lack of food than even the ability to learn. This may root from the child’s need to secure food for themselves overruled their need for socialization with others.
A child’s health can have a crucial effect on their development, especially when it concerns a lack of nutrition. The early years of a child’s life are the most important for them to develop important skills that, if missed, can caused great harm later in life. The structure of a child’s daily eating routine can play a role in that. Although physical exercise, rest, and play are all important, the amount of food a child intakes can be the most decisive in growing properly. Food, as it turns out, can be the key factor for a child to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Poverty is described as the economic state that does not allow provision of basic child and family needs such as housing, clothing and adequate food. As a result of poverty, education, development and health of a child is affected. For a child to grow and develop normally, good nutrition which comprises of a balanced diet and essential elements should be provided. It is important to note that, child poverty has increased over the years because of the following reasons:
- Increased number of single parents or female-headed families
- Decrease in value of income transfer programs
- Decrease in real value of wages earned by lower educated workers
Expansion of Technology and information economy has excluded people with low education backgrounds making them find alternative sources of income which might not support their families. Families that lack head of the family are usually poor even if the mother works because the father is a great supporter and wage earner in the family. Poverty has the following health impacts to children:
As a result of poverty, young girls tend to indulge in sex for money (prostitution) to be able to support their families or themselves. In some countries, these girls are pushed to indulge into such activities by their parents having no other alternative. Therefore, they end up engaging in sex for money and since they are inexperienced, they are exploited by men and end up becoming pregnant.
In addition to getting pregnant, these girls are at a risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) e.g. chlamydia, HIV/AIDS etc. which might result to death after a period of time. However, if they end up getting pregnant, aborting the fetus remains as the best option to most of them since they cannot be able to support the child. This further exposes them to possible death!
Poverty affects development of the child:
For a child to develop normally, he or she should be able to have a balanced diet which most poor children cannot get. Brain and body development is dependent on certain minerals elements which can only be found in specific types of meals. Research shows that, children living in constant poverty have the worst cognitive development compared to children living from a higher socio-economic background. Therefore, poor children end up participating in social, celebratory activities and leisure which can negatively impact their health and development e.g. taking drugs. In some instances, being poor makes a child poor in decision making although some end up being challenged by poverty and they work hard to help their families.
As a result of poverty, children suffer from kwashiorkor or marasmus due to poor nutrition. Kwashiorkor is a malnutrition disease which is caused by lack of proteins in a child’s diet while marasmus results from lack of food leading to emaciation. These malnutrition diseases affect development and health of a child with possible death after a period of time. Poverty can be manifested by lack of access to healthy foods and environment which can predispose a child to chronic conditions such as asthma, pneumonia and anaemia.
Exposure to contaminants:
Since poor children live in slums or in poor localities, they get exposed to contaminants among the heavy metals and toxic waste dumps. Some of these children seek for means to feed themselves or their families by selling plastics or scrap metals which they retrieve from damp sites. Having no protective gear to retrieve these materials, these children exposes themselves to harmful waste materials which might affect their health. Heavy metals and other toxic wastes may not have abrupt effects on the child but with time, the effects may be seen e.g. in brain development and chronic infections.
It is evident that poverty affects children as much as it affects their parents. However, since children are young and hence developing, they are really affected by poverty especially health wise. It is important to note that, when a child’s development is affected, it is not possible to remedy the problem in future e.g. stunted growth and brain development. As a result of poverty, children with low birth weight are born due to malnutrition of the parents, these children have lower life expectancy rate although some die at birth. It is not easy to eradicate poverty completely but the use of the right measures could help reduce effects of poverty and raise living standards.
As our children observe us in the house, they will likely want to get involved with what we are doing. Depending on their age, allowing their participation can difficult. For example, working with a blow torch to make crème brulee is certainly not a task you would trust your five-year-old with. Still, you can teach your kids many valuable skills in the kitchen, progressing to more advanced techniques as they get older. Little by little, they will refine their culinary skills throughout their youth, hopefully with enough expertise to avoid takeout every night when they enter college!
If your small child is eager to please you as you work in the kitchen, give them small things to do! These can be minor tasks like washing carrots or potatoes for a stew you are making. Perhaps you can trust them with cracking eggs for you while you make cookies or simply just sprinkling some decorations on a freshly baked batch of cupcakes. By the time your little one reaches five, they should be able to spread icing relatively neatly!
Once your child is about six and is comfortable reading, you can focus more in depth on baking since they will need to read and use basic math for measuring. Start off with some store-bought cake mixes before making a dessert from scratch. Use their time-telling skills to teach them how to make a hard-boiled egg. You are still doing most of the work at this point, but including your little one and utilizing their new skills will pay off a great deal in the years to come.
Around age eight or when your child is finally tall enough to reach the counter-tops, you can teach them some supervised stove skills. At this point, they are also mature enough to use a peeler and can opener; they can potentially join you in planning family dinner. Start them off with smaller tasks to begin with like making the mashed potatoes or putting them in charge of mixing the salad. If they feel like more of the fancy type, you can even make them responsible for dessert.
Once your child becomes a teenager, their palette is far more developed and they can start experimenting with different flavors and textures. Though they are older, supervision is still very important at this age. Sometimes your teen will meticulously follow cooking instructions for an easy, straightforward meal;other times, the desire for something new may bring some surprises. Whether good or bad, it is important to allow them to be creative at this stage since they are embracing their new freedoms and sense of responsibility.
Never be afraid to encourage kids to take a step out of their comfort zone. Maybe it’s finally time to let them use that blow torch for crème brulee. Having some friends over for a casual hangout? Show them how you fire up the grill for a great barbecue; let them flip the steaks and get involved. Always look for small opportunities where they can lend a hand, however small the task may be.
The following recipes should inspire kids of all ages as they work with you in the kitchen:
A super easy, quick recipe that allows your child to have fun and be creative with their very own personal pizza.
Mini pizza crusts or flat bread
Your choice of veggies
Step 1: Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
Step 2: Apply tomato sauce on your pizza. You may want to help your child with this to ensure that the sauce is distributed evenly.
Step 3: Build your own pizza! Sprinkle cheese and toppings. If you feel comfortable, allow your child to cut some of the vegetables. If you want to get fancy, add some chicken or sausage.
Step 4: Place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Pour buttermilk in a bowl.
Step 3: Cut rolls in half.
Step 4: Mix garlic with butter.
Step 5: Dip the top of a roll in buttermilk and let it sit for five seconds. Then, dab it with the garlic butter.
Step 6. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese on roll and set on baking sheet.
Step 7: Repeat steps 5 and 6 until baking sheet is full.
Step 8. Bake for 10 minutes.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Vanilla ice cream
This really only requires you to set ice cream between two cookies, so determine whether you want to go all out on this one. You can buy pre-made cookie dough or if you want to spend some quality time in the kitchen, you can make your chocolate chip cookies from scratch!
Habits are important in life since they determine our actions and behaviors. In this case, having healthy eating habits means that we can learn to watch what and when we eat. A well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet has various benefits for the human body both in the short and long-term perspectives. While eating healthy might seem like a relatively simple task, it is important that you to make informed decisions to achieve the best results. On the basic level, eating health involves consuming various types of foods including vitamins, protein, minerals, healthy fats and calories as well. The body requires all these nutrient groups in appropriate amounts, and this has its inherent benefits as well. One of the main methods of achieving this goal would be to embrace the proper eating habits. Here are some of the notable reasons:
Importance of healthy eating habits
Improved overall body health
The nutrients that are found in food are ideal for improving the activities of day-to-day living, and they are important in cell repair as well. For instance, Protein is a key nutrient group that is used to repair damaged tissues, and it works to improve your overall immune health levels. More so, fats and carbohydrates act as fuel for the body, while minerals and vitamins are essential for basic body activities. Vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that protect the cells against toxins, while Vitamin B helps the body to make proper use of energy giving foods. Other important food groups such as Calcium are ideal for healthy bones, while potassium contributes to improve nerve capabilities. Having said, failing to consume this food groups in the appropriate levels might compromise your body functions.
Aside from the quality of the foods that you embrace, you should also consider the quality when improving your eating habits. Consuming the appropriate level of calories in relation to your activity levels helps you maintain the ideal body weight. However, consuming more calories or fat than your activity levels might lead to increased weight gain. This type of fat accumulation increases the risk of developing health complications such as cardiovascular and respiratory complications, among many others. Recent studies have shown that those who eat healthy foods have improved control over their weight levels. A good recommendation would be to consume diets that are packed with vegetables and fruits.
Obesity is not the only side effect of poor eating healthy habits. In fact, consuming an excessive or perhaps insufficient amount of a particular nutrient can also exacerbate certain health complications. For example, the lack of calcium or sodium in the body can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, which is a health complication that affects the structure of the bones. More so, consuming too much or processes sugar can lead to diabetes, and lack of greens and fruits in the body might predispose you to develop deficiency health complications. Therefore, consuming foods from a broad spectrum of food groups goes a long way in ensuring the body has the required nutrients for mitigating the effects of health complications.
It improves your overall sense of well-being
A recent study showed that eating healthy foods not only improves your sense of well-being, but it also helps to make you happier as well. The study that involved as many as 12,000 test subjects was conducted at Warwick University, and it determined that healthy eating habits go a long way in improving an individual’s overall happiness levels. The study determined that those who consumed diet packed with fruits and leafy greens had an increased amount of dopamine in the blood. Simply put, there is a strong co-relation in between the food you consume and your sense of overall well-being as well. Eating leafy greens contains unique compounds that improve the amount of dopamine levels in the bloodstream.
Taking all things into perspective, there is no space for poor decision making when it comes to healthy eating habits. It is important that we embrace the appropriate eating habits, such as watching what we eat and this has its inherent benefits. Eating healthy requires that we make informed decisions and that we also realize the benefits of embracing such habits as well. Various studies have shown the significant benefits of eating well, and it should be part or day-to-day lifestyle.
It can be difficult to know how to make kids eat healthy food. Parents will try approaches that range from ordering to pleading, but they might wonder what will be most effective. The following is a list of various ideas on getting children to eat those basic food groups:
Eliminate the Possibility of Allergies and Intolerances
There might be a reason that a child does not want to eat a certain type of food consistently. They might be experiencing bathroom troubles or pain. Children are not very good at identifying whether a certain food is troubling their stomach. They simply will refuse many foods if they are in pain, but they will not say why.
The best thing to do in any instance is to ask the child if their tummy is hurting and if they are having problems going to the bathroom. Tell them that you want to take them to the doctor to get some allergy testing to eliminate the possibility of a food allergy.
The main offenders are lactose and gluten. Lactose has very pronounced effects on the stomach whereas gluten may or may not. There is a blood test to check for a gluten allergy such as Celiac Disease that all children should have at least once. With lactose, elimination to check for increased stomach discomfort or integration of lactase pills should help. Other allergies are usually more blatant and cause anaphylactic reactions.
Make a Food Chart
One thing that children never tire of is charts with stickers. If there is a reward at the end of the rainbow, then even better. Make your children a food groups chart where they get a sticker for each serving size of the food groups. Teach children what portions are, so if they eat a double portion, they get two stickers.
This might seem like a simplistic and time consuming approach, but most kids will love it. It is good to implement in early grade school years when they are learning about so many new concepts. Children at this age are very receptive to new ideas and like rewards based systems.
Try to make the end of the week rewards something not to do with food. And also don’t be too strict about them carb loading and other dietary concerns adults worry about. Unless the child is overweight or has health issues, then their bodies need the extra nutrients as they grow. Just make sure that you are not feeding them too much sugar and that they regularly get their blood tests for their annual examinations.
Involve Them in Decision Making
You might not like your child dictating dinner time meals. In fact, you are free as a parent to do whatever you like for these meals, provided they are healthy. But when it comes to snack times, always give children some veto power.
This means that if the child has options, give them the options and let them pick. If you are constantly telling them what to eat, they will not develop a healthy relationship with food. It might turn into a control battle where they go out of their way to eat too much or too little. So make sure children do not feel over regulated even in the home life. You will feel much better when you realize that sometimes as a parent you just have to relax a bit.
Every child likes to be creative. If you let them try different combinations, like peanut butter and apples, then they will start to appreciate the liveliness that can be the palate. Their taste buds will become more refined and yet expanded as they learn that different healthy foods can taste great together.
With the creativity, make sure the combinations are all healthy ingredients. This way they learn that eating peanut butter and celery can be just as fun as a sprinkled doughnut. And they will be so busy in the kitchen creating that they will be less likely to default to high sugar, high fat foods with little nutritional value in the future.
Teaching children to eat healthy foods will be a life long endeavor. Children are little humans too, so they will need will power at all stages in life to resist too many unhealthy snacks. Educating them through encouraging tools and fun activities about healthy food can work even better than lectures. And they will feel that eating is a fun, interactive activity with mainly good foods that fuel their active lifestyles.