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Helping Parents with Obese Children

June 18, 2012

        My wife has worked as a pediatrics Physician Assistant  for many years. Every night she comes home and the same topic is brought up – obesity in children. 

        We are very fortunate to have three healthy children, two boys ages four and five and our 17 month old baby girl. We try to keep the kids active and I play outside with them frequently. The most recent activity is water pistols. The boys love it when daddy chases them around the yard! Playing outside with your kids when you can is a huge motivator to get them outside and running.

         We do not keep “junk food” in the house. No sodas, candy or pop tarts and we limit store-bought fruit juice. A basic day would be like this: Breakfast: toast, or Cheerios, Greek yogurt, fruit and milk. Snacks: Fruit smoothie with fresh fruit, or pretzels. Dinners are normally chicken or fish grilled with a vegetable and a starch. Deserts are cookies(2) with milk. The desert is usually limited to 2 times a week due to that being the first disciplinary item taken away.

         My wife has deduced from talking with parents that most simply have no control over what their kids eat. Let me rephrase that. The children have control over what they eat and tell there parents what to buy. No one said that being a parent is easy. If your child is suffering from any health risks due to poor food choices it is time to rein them in. You pay the mortgage and the bills, not your kids. It is your house. They are your children. You should be the one buying the correct foods and making the right dinners with the correct portions. If they refuse to eat the food you put on the table. SO BE IT. That is what is for dinner, eat it or leave it. Trust me, one time missing dinner is not going to hurt your child, and it usually only takes one time to make them realize things have changed.

         The child obesity epidemic is increasing every year. I hope that we can make a difference. We have decided to be pro-active beyond her clinical duties. I have compiled articles, health foods, and many resources into one website www.childrenhypertension.com. Our hope is that we can maybe provide a one stop resource for concerned parents to go to. The web site is in its beginning stages, but already has many useful articles, videos, charts, BMI calculator, and healthy foods.  Any advice would be appreciated, and any questions we will do our best to answer. 

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