5 ways parents cause childhood obesity

There are parents that like to point fingers for the cause of their child's obesity. The truth is that while school lunches are bad for children and kid's meals aren't healthy, parents are often to blame for their child's weight issues. How can you prevent your child from getting overweight? Take a closer look at these common missteps that parents make that lead to childhood obesity. Here are just five ways parents are to blame for childhood obesity.

The "Clean Your Plate" Mentality

For decades children have been told to clean their plates. While this often stems from children being picky eaters, it has become a problem in the past few decades. With portions getting larger and larger, making a child clean her plate can result in her eating many more calories than she needs. Not to mention that this is a habit that will stick with her as she grows up and can lead to overeating.

Poor Meal Choices

Parents are often overworked and this leads to drive-thru meals. Unfortunately, many drive-thru meals are unhealthy and filled with fat. As a parent, it is up to you to provide nutritious meals for your children. If you're hurried and need to get fast food, choose something healthy or plan ahead. Slow cooker meals can be cooked while you're at work and will be ready when you get home.

Lack of Concern in School Lunches

Letting a school handle your child's nutritional needs is a mistake. Many public schools are on tight budgets and the meals they provide are high in fat and calories and low in nutrition. While this is changing some what, you're still better off preparing homemade bagged lunches for your child.

Not Encouraging Activity

As Americans we are literally overwhelmed by the number of ways we can entertain ourselves without ever leaving our favorite chair. Children are no different. With video games, interactive story books, TV channels devoted to cartoons and other forms of entertainment, why would a child want to go out and play. Still, active playtime is essential to burn off those calories.

Setting Poor Examples

Last, but not least, you need to set good examples for your children. Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise at least 30 minutes per day and live a healthy lifestyle. You can't expect your children to follow the rules if you don't.

If you want your children to be healthy, you need to take matters into your own hands. You can't expect schools, fast food restaurants or anyone else to do it for you.