Lesson 12

What Parents Can Do To Prevent Childhood Obesity (Part 2)

Last week in Lesson 9 we began to discuss the important role parents could and had to play in order to prevent their children suffering from overweight problems and,worse still,obesity.In that lesson we mentioned, amongst other issues, the importance of

  • knowledge
  • Teaching by example and
  • Starting a healthy diet regime as soon as is possible.

We concluded lesson 9 with highly illustrative and informative infographs whose objectives were to teach

(1) how to prevent child obesity whilst at the same time

(2) provide information on healthier alternatives to junk food which are an important contributory factor to overweight and obesity dilemmas confronting children and teenagers.

In today’s lesson 12 we are going to concentrate on argueably the most important consideration which ALL parents have to undertake in order to ensure that their offspring will grow into healthy adults with minimal health problems,namely a healthy and balanced nutrition programme.


Healthy Cooking.

Healthy cooking, such as, steamed vegetables and fruit smoothies are a great way to introduce to your children heart-healthy foods at an early age.

If broccoli or cauliflower is met with disdain, try pouring a little cheese sauce onto the vegetables. Engaging kids by allowing them to assist in cooking and meal preparation as appropriate for their age will greatly increase the chances of their interest in any types of food they helped prepare.

If you as a parent, start when your children are young and give them a lot of fruits and vegetables, as they get older they will naturally gravitate toward those foods.

They can be asked to help with all types of cooking and baking. Kids love to help, it will teach them how to cook healthy and will make them proud and filled with a sense of accomplishment.



What’s inside your cupboards and refrigerator says a lot about your diet.

Keeping healthy food in the home is the first and maybe most important step in dictating what your child will eat.

This may be easier said than done, but, it is just a fact of raising healthy and fit kids.

It’s not difficult, but, it does take a conscious effort to keep wholesome snacks in the refrigerator so the first thing your child reaches for are the celery sticks with peanut butter or the chopped carrot sticks.

It’s up to parents to introduce early in a child’s life the world of fruits and vegetables as wholesome snacking

Even baked goods such as oatmeal raisin cookies can be made without processed sugar. Simply cut back on the sugar or use a sugar substitute, like Applesauce.

Be Creative.

If your child naturally reaches for a handful of Oreos (a sandwich cookie consisting of  two chocolate wafers with a sweet cream filling in between) after school, he or she is probably craving fat. Fat, however,is loaded with vitamin E, certainly an essential vitamin, so instead of Oreo cookies introduce early in life foods that are naturally rich in vitamin E such as avocado or nuts.

Get creative and turn the avocados into a delicious guacamole dip with baked pita chips for dipping or keep Nutella on hand, a delicious hazelnut spread that can be put on whole grain breads, crackers and waffles.

There are many ways to replace unhealthy snacks.

All it takes is a little imagination and an extra half an hour in the kitchen before your child flies into the house and goes straightr for the cupboard or refrigerator looking for something to eat.Instead, have it ready or have it already made in the refrigerator, this makes it more likely that this is what they will eat.


List Of Healthy Snacks Ideas

  • String Cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Low fat frozen yogurt
  • Sorbet
  • Trail mixes with dried fruit and nuts
  • Fresh fruit smoothies
  • Fresh fruit smoothies
  • Frozen bananas
  • Homemade frozen berry pops
  • Apples with almond or peanut butter
  • Apple sauce
  • Graham crackers
  • Fig bars
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Fruit with caramel dip


  • Kashi GoLean bars
  • Granola (check labels to verify sugar content)
  • Baked chips
  • Vegetable chips
  • Soy crisps
  • Rice cakes
  • Unbuttered popcorn
  • Pita chips
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Dried cherries
  • Fruit leather
  • Cereal bars
  • Banana chips
  • Low or zero sugar nutrition bars.


Limit Sugary Foods

Clean out the refrigerator and the cupboards of any and all food that are unhealthy and replace them with fruits, vegetables and healthy sweets. Now!

Become more creative in the kitchen and soon you are bound to see some changes both in your children’s attitude and their waistline which is begining to shrink in diameter.



Healthier Baked Goods

Learn how to make healthier baked goods.There are plenty of substitutions that can be used to create tasty sweets that are lower in fat, calories and sugar.

Baking Substitutions

  • Swap pureed prunes for butter, which have 50% less calories and fat than butter. Use this for dark baked goods, like brownies. Mix 3/4 cup prunes with 1/4 cup boiling water and puree to blend. Substitutes in equal amounts for butter.
  • Swap 1 cup of drained pureed black beans for 1 cup flower in brownie recipes.
  • Add shredded zucchini to baked goods.
  • Add mashed fruit, like apricots and bananas that are naturally sweet instead of sugar to cakes, muffins, breads and cookies.
  • Swap oil for equal amounts of pureed fruits and vegetables in muffin, cookie and cake recipes.

Positive Results will certainly not happen overnight, but, with a little diligence and discipline it can be done and years later your child may even thank you for instilling in them habits that will serve them well into adulthood.

Now for some light and plesant relief. Refer to the illustrative powerpoint presentation called ‘ ABCs of Nutrition for Kids ‘ below to further re-inforce what you have already learnt. Do’nt worry,the presentation has been constructed in such a manner to make the whole learning experience enjoyable :


*** Congratulations on completing another important lesson.Go over it again if you wish and then attempt the quiz questions by Clicking this!

Good Luck !