Make a change for the better

Generational obesity is rampant in Australia. Follow Obesity Prevention Australia’s 10 quick tips to ensure you have a happy, healthy family…

1. Drink water from the tap 

Lots of parents complain that a healthy lifestyle is expensive. Swap soft drinks and juice for water and you’ll lower the cost of your shopping bill AND the risk of harming your child’s health. 

2. Allow less than 2 hours of TV per day 
Research shows that children who spend lots of time glued to the telly are more likely to snack and be inactive. When television viewing is restricted, improvements in BMI have been shown to occur. Don’t put TVs in your children’s bedrooms – instead, encourage them to find an active pastime. 

3. Make your house a healthy snack zone 
Poor food choices can cause people to have lower energy levels and suffer from depression. Make sure healthy produce is readily available and remove high calorie, high fat foods from the home. Eat healthy snacks in front of your kids and encourage them to pick out their favourites. 

4. Never skip breakfast 
A healthy breakfast every day improves your child’s concentration, mood and endurance. Children who eat this meal are less likely to be irritable, overweight and suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Sit down as a family each day to eat this meal and even let the kids choose what they’d like to eat. 

5. Make dinner time family time 
Turn the TV off, sit round the table and try to make dinner last 30 minutes or more every night. Participation in a social dinner leads to a higher intakes of fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods in children. Chat about your day and perhaps even discuss healthy living over your meal! 

6. Make fitness a family affair 
Don't just tell your kids to go play. Play with them! Studies show children are more likely to be active if their parents are, so organize physical activities for the whole family – a beach walk, climbing session or game of Frisbee. Enrolling them in Nippers will also help keep them active and confident. 

7. Reward your kids 
Many people give food treats as an expression of love. If you want to reward your little ones, give them some extra attention at home and arrange an active time for the both of you. 

8. Cultivate a love of healthy food 
Prepare healthy meals with your children, as they enjoy participating and achieving! If you let them see you prepare and eat nutritious food, they will imitate and good habits will stick. 

9. Flick fast food 
Limit your family’s fast food intake to a minimum of once a week and you will see a whole new personality emerge from your children - less tantrums, increased attention spans and more desire to run and play! 

10. Instill confidence through encouragement 
The key to raising happy, confident children is encouragement. Give them responsibility to show that you have faith in them, teach them new skills, look for their strengths and have realistic expectations.