September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, which gives us
all a chance to spotlight an issue that children are at high risk of developing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out
of every 5 children in the United States suffers from obesity. As a parent,
what can you do to ensure your children stay healthy and develop optimal
eating habits? The answer to this might be more difficult if you are co-parenting
with your ex-spouse. However, it is not impossible.
Here are some helpful tips that you and your co-parent can review to ensure
your children are able to maintain a healthy weight and have a balanced
and nutritious diet:
Provide healthier alternatives to the foods they love: Kids do not always gravitate toward the healthiest of choices, so some
of their more favored dishes are likely unhealthy. Instead of denying
them their favorite dishes entirely, try to change up the recipe to make
it healthier for them. They might even like it better than the unhealthy
version of it. If you happen to successfully alter a recipe, share it
with your co-parent, so he or she also has it readily available in the
food arsenal for future meals. This will also help promote consistency
between both households.
Make unhealthy snacks less readily available to them: No one is saying your children are now forbidden from having treats, but
certain snacks should only be provided in moderation. You and your co-parent
should try to limit high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks to better
instill healthier habits in your children. You might even want to consider
changing your own snacking habits to set a good example for them. If you
always have a soda with your meal, drink water instead. Missing the fizzy
bubbles of your favorite carbonated beverage? Consider buying sparkling water.
Coordinate ways to inspire better eating habits: One of the best ways to make sure your kids are eating well is by giving
them the means to do so. You and your co-parent should make sure your
respective households have plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as
low-fat or non-fat milk and dairy products. When it comes to protein,
opt for lean meats, chicken, and fish. You and your co-parent should collaborate
on meal plans to ensure there is consistency in their diet. Coordinating
can also help prevent any monotony in their diet if you are able to come
up with a meal plan for the month that allows you to avoid repeating dishes
Do not let them become couch potatoes: Kids love time in front of the TV, but as much as they enjoy playing their
favorite games or watching a popular show, the time they spend sitting
and being glued to the screen should be monitored. Get creative and think
of other fun activities they can do that do not involve them becoming
a couch potato.
Talk to your kids about their health and the importance of exercise: Your kids might just think you and your ex-spouse are party poopers for
not letting them watch as much TV as they like. To avoid either of you
looking like the bad guy, you and your co-parent should try to help them
why being active is so crucial. Remember, it is about more than simply maintaining
weight. Being active has a plethora of other health benefits, both physical
and mental, such as bone-strengthening and better self-esteem.
Get moving: You and your co-parent should also help your children stay active by encouraging
them to participate in physical activities as often as possible. In fact,
you can even set a good example by partaking in these activities with
them. If your work schedules are hectic, try to squeeze in a game of basketball
on the weekend or take them to the pool for a swim. You can even spend
the day with your child window shopping at the mall, which can potentially
keep you both on your feet for several hours.
Ultimately, as co-parents, it is important that you maintain consistency
in your children’s lives to ensure that healthy habits are encouraged
in both households. Coordinate on their diets and make sure they are getting
the same level of activity no matter where they are staying. Together,
you can help fight childhood obesity.
Family Law Attorneys in Houston
At the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, our Houston
family law attorneys are dedicated to assisting clients through any family law matter
no matter how complex it might be. If you and your spouse are going through a
divorce, reach out to our legal team today to ensure you have a skilled legal
advocate on your side who will fight for you and protect your interests.
You should not have to go through this on your own.
Begin your case today and
contact our office at (713) 936-2300 to schedule a consultation with one of our