A simple way to prevent your child from being overweight

I noticed something very interesting while health coaching that could be useful for parenting.  Many of my clients say that they are overweight/obese because they often think of food as a "reward", and not always as "fuel". For example, if they do something great in the week they go out for dinner, graze on unhealthy snacks at nights, eat ice cream, etc.

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In the past when I worked 1:1 with younger children, I found that parents often used food as a reward with their children; giving them cookies, chips, or candy if they did something well or achieved a certain goal.

There has been a significant rise in severe obesity among children ages 2 to 5, since around 2013*. I have found that these small rewards as a child may be reinforced in adulthood resulting in choosing to reward oneself in the same way — leading to unhealthy poor food choices, weight gain, diabetes, and more.

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What do you reward your child with when they accomplish something good? If you tend to use food, consider switching things up a bit by asking your children what activities they would like to do, what games they would like to play, or even places they may want to go. 

If rewarding your child with food is simply an easy alternative, consider rewarding them with whole foods, such as fruits, instead of processed foods, like chips. You can also choose to batch cook homemade treats for the week, such as homemade fruit-roll ups, and reward them with it as needed as well! 

What is your child's favorite snack? Comment below and let me know! I'd love to give you some healthy alternatives and snack combos for their favorite (healthy and unhealthy) treats! ;) 

*For more information on childhood obesity: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2018/02/22/peds.2017-3459

*Homemade fruit roll up recipe:
 https://ourbestbites.com/how-to-make-homemade-fruit-roll-ups/