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This Eid, Begin Fighting Childhood Obesity

Treatment and Prevention

Instilling healthy eating habits and encouraging exercise is the best way to combat obesity in children and adults alike.

It is up to the parents to regulate what their children consume, and it is their responsibility to promote healthy food choices from a tender age for their young ones.

Children should be taught that their body is a very valuable thing that has been entrusted to their care and that it is their obligation to look after and care for it.

Making a trip to the grocery store together is an effective way to teach children how to choose and recognize healthier food options.

Remind them that Almighty Allah mentions in the Qur’an, “Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein.” (Suart Taha: 20:81).

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Encourage them to read the nutrition label and to look out for ingredients they should avoid such as high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and artificial colorings.

Talk to them about the importance of eating raw fruits and vegetables, and select healthier snack alternatives (such as nuts and whole-grain crackers) to chips and candy.

Limit your trips to fast-food restaurants and make an effort to eat home-cooked, nutritious meals instead. Teach your children the hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained that if one is to fill his stomach, then only a third should be filled with food, a third for drink, and a third should be left empty (At-Tirmidhi).

Do not encourage your children to eat till they are full, which many parents forget to do. Children should be encouraged to stop eating when they are satisfied, not satiated.

Eat together as a family, and make mealtimes enjoyable. Do not waste this special bonding opportunity by eating in front of the TV or individually.

Encourage your children to play outside and engage in physical activity instead of sitting at home and watching TV or playing video games.

Go on nature walks together, and make it an opportunity to both get some exercise and talk about Allah’s creation and His signs.

Enroll them for extracurricular activities such as sports and crafts. Make these endeavors fun, and your children will not only thoroughly enjoy themselves but will also get some much-needed exercise.

📚 Read Also: Eid Al-Fitr 1422/2021 Sermons

New Beginning

Make this `Eid the start of a new healthy lifestyle for you and your children. Instead of gifting your children chocolates and video games, gift them with your time instead and go out and do fun family-oriented activities together.

Other good gift choices are sports equipment such as tennis rackets, basketballs, footballs, and roller blades, which will encourage them to engage in physical activity. A membership to a local fitness center is a good idea, and many offer classes specifically for children.

After a long Ramadan, we deserve to treat ourselves. Every `Eid celebration calls for sweets and desserts. However, you can limit their fatty content by cutting down on sugar and butter, and by using low-fat versions of milk and cheese while preparing them.

Reducing the serving sizes and limiting the quantity you make will also prevent overindulgence. Adding fresh fruits to your desserts and as a garnishing will provide nutritional benefit.

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