What You Need To Know
Guest Post By Cassandra Lomax
With nearly 1 in 5 school-age children in the United States being classed as obese, it’s clear that the subject is a nationwide epidemic. Whether you’ve just begun homeschooling your children or have been for some time, keeping informed of the risks and what you can do for your child’s health through homeschooling can make all the difference.
Childhood obesity – the facts and risks
Childhood obesity is very common, and can be a result of many factors. In fact, obesity in children can be the result of genetics, psychological stress at home, unhealthy eating habits, or an inactive or unhealthy lifestyle. Whatever the root cause, obesity in children can lead to diabetes, asthma, low self-esteem, and depression. And, in terms of the effects that obesity may have on your child’s education, research and studies show that those with childhood obesity are more likely to result in lower academic performance, such as low engagement, and even the need to repeat a grade.
Health education for homeschoolers
When it comes to your child’s homeschool education, implementing a health and nutrition curriculum is a great way to educate them on what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Learning about the elements of a healthy diet and the benefits of exercise can easily be done right at home through standard schoolwork, cooking and daily activities (like grocery shopping for healthy choices). By making it a part of their everyday homeschool routine, you can give your child the tools they need to form healthy habits early that will carry into adulthood.
A healthy lifestyle right at home
Promoting a healthy lifestyle for your child is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to preventing childhood obesity. Luckily, this can easily be done for homeschoolers by incorporating physical education and exercise into their everyday routine, which can contribute to an active lifestyle. For younger children, this may mean playtime at the park or in the backyard, and for older children, walking, playing a sport or running may be more suitable.
Ensuring your child is getting the proper nutrition at home is another great way to allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight as a homeschooler, and can easily be achieved by purchasing healthy foods to keep at home. Fresh vegetables and fruit make the perfect snack for any time of the day, and are a great way to encourage healthy eating. Involving your child in the purchasing and preparation of healthy dinners can also teach them about nutrition through healthy eating.
Childhood obesity can be the result of many factors, lifestyle being one of them, but when you’re homeschooling your child, you’re in a great position to arm them with the skills and knowledge they need to maintain a healthy weight and follow an active, healthy lifestyle.