If you were to think about buying a present for your child then what would it be? Maybe a DVD or the latest computer game? Or maybe something smaller like a chocolate bar or some sweets? With childhood obesity on the rise, matters such as these are now more likely to have greater consideration than they once did.
There can be no doubt that many of the decisions that we make will have a big influence on the lives of our children. That does not simply mean that it could have an impact in the short term. Many habits picked up by young children will continue into their adult lives.
Does that sound worried? It probably should do – children who do not get enough exercise and who have poor eating habits face a greater chance of serious health problems in the future.
All of this can sound but daunting but parents are in a position to make changes. By doing so, we can ensure that we give our children the best possible chance.
In the introduction to this article we made mention of eating habits and also of computer games. Why did they get a mention? The reality is that many children are happy to spend endless hours playing video games or watching television.
Parents may be happy with this behavior, believing that it keeps children out of harm's way. But does it really? Could it be that such forms of entertainment will increase the chances of problems?
Computer games and watching television tend to involve very little movement. As such, they mean that kids taking part in these activities are inadvertently to be getting as much exercise as they really need. Are your children getting outdoors to play more active games?
If not, it may be worthwhile to encourage them to take part in more active forms of play. This is not as difficult as it may seem – many kids love to spend time in the fresh air.
If your own child is reticent to do so then you may be able to help. By demonstrating how much fun can be found in outdoor garden games you can encourage them to lead a healthier life.