Children are in their growing phase. We cannot curb a child from eating a cream biscuit or warn him to never touch French fries or burgers in life as this is surely going to hurt him/her. As a parent/caretaker we can do many other things to help our children reach and maintain ideal body weight. Consuming foods and beverages that help the child stay active are important for overall well-being of the kid.
Deciding if your Child is Overweight or Not
Branding a kid to be overweight is not so simply. Kids grow at their own pace; the growth rate is different for boys and girls and a child’s body fat differs as the kid ages. BMI for children is calculated using percentile data and having a look at the chart can help you decide whether your child is in normal weight ranges or not.
Obese Children are More Likely to Grow into Obese Adults
Look into obesity/overweight issues in kids right away as weighing too much can create a lot of health problems in life later. Presently, he/she might become breathless while running, may not be able to be stay in pace with other friends or experience joint pains too. Some kids might even develop health problems such as cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure or be subjected to mental trauma due to bullying by friends, low self-esteem or depression.
Overweight children enter adulthood with a greater risk for health problems such as heart disease and certain types of cancer. The growth chart is only for your reference and don’t take any decisive action, such as putting your kid on a weight-loss program, without consulting your pediatrician in the first place.
Sow the Seeds of Health
Talk to your child constantly about the benefits of eating heathy food, good sleep, physical activity and lots of play time. Take the kid to the supermarket and make him/her choose healthy foods, fruits and vegetables and involve the kid in meal planning and preparation at home.
Explain your child regarding the benefits of sleep, choosing the right foods and beverages, limiting screen time daily and above all be a good role model. Only if the entire family comes together in taking up a solid change in lifestyle for the better, your child will succeed in his/her weight loss program.
Offer Interesting Meal Ideas
Apart from the regular dairy products, foods and drinks that contain plenty of sugar, fat, calories and salt, help your child eat foods such as:
Active Parents Up bring Active Children
Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. It need not be covered in one stretch but can be distributed throughout the day. Let your child choose his/her favorite sport, dance class or rock climbing sport. You can make him/her ride the bicycle at home, play hopscotch with your little one or even play a game of badminton together to benefit mutually.
Involve the entire family in play activities during the weekend which brings about a stronger bond between family members and also equips you to be better physically.
Remember to stay positive, supportive and encouraging throughout your child’s weight loss journey. Help your child set small goals and reward him/her with stickers, new board games or above all, hugs and kisses, when he/she accomplishes them.
Impart the importance of losing weight to your child and be with him/her in his weight loss resolution. Despite all these, if your child is still unable to lose weight, it is better to meet a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com who can customize a healthy diet plan with the required physical activity.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.