Healthy weight the right weight strategies for children

Healthy weight - the right weight strategies

A warning flag should go up if a child starts gaining weight quickly without a corresponding increase in height.

This in continuation of my hub Childhood and obesity,

No matter how over weight you think your child is, do not put your child on a diet without consulting your paediatrician because the risk of interfering with crucial aspects of growth and development is just too high. You can wrong, your perception of over weight may not be accurate, especially as children's bodies don't look like adult ones, and their proportions will change at different ages, that too without warning.

Normally there are two stages at which children look well chubby and rounded; during infancy and during puberty, on both the sexes, when the body produces extra fat to fuel larger than normal growth spurts. Mothers obese children always have a doubt whether to feed the child with low fat milk or skimmed milk - the answer is definitely NOT. whole milk provides vial nutrients to babies, and the fat it contains, though it may be the bane of an adult's life is essential for the development of the brain and the nervous system of the child. So denying what is important and essential is also dangerous. Fat is a concentrated source of energy, and babies normally depend on it to fuel their rapid growth. On the other hand it is recommended that three to six teaspoons of fat or oil added to the diet daily, depending on the chil's age and activity level is must.

Toddlers and preschoolers are still growing too fast to be put on a restricted diet instead a parent's goal should be to improve eating and exercise habits so that the child's weight remains stable until the child grows into it. Unless and otherwise on some extreme cases, a child should not be put on a restricted diet before the age of eight.

Remember, all foods offer some thing by way of nutrition everything, from chocolate to lettuce, is made up of some combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat - so all feed is somewhat good. The secret lies in moderation. If, the child is so strong eating chips and sweet, avoid keeping these foods at home, so that the child needs to eat some good food like fruits breads etc to fill up the need. Serve all foods at the same level without a good or bad designation. Have a simple rule though for example the child need not finish his/her salad but he/she may not have an extra helping of ice cream even if the child is still hungry.

Right Weight strategies:

For Babies:

Some babies are over fed, because its the misunderstanding of the parent for the nee d to suck for hunger. A dummy will appease the baby that wants to suck for comfort.

Wait until at least for four months before you introduce solids.

For toddlers: (18 months to 3 years)

Offer meals and healthy snacks only at scheduled times.

Introduce a variety of foods subtly. Let your child see the new food on your plate first.

Children need full cream milk until they are two years old. After that, you can replace it with skimmed milk.

Bypass the dessert as reward trap and let the child eat it whenever it wants to but, no seconds.

For preschoolers: (three to six years)

Continue offering new tastes, so your child will be ready to enjoy a wide variety of foods.

While shopping and cooking with your preschooler, make sure you tell your child that different foods have different functions and contain different nutrients.

Practice what you preach, remember that it is you who have to set an example for your child because watching you only he is growing. If you don't want your child to eat chips and sweets in front of the TV you must abstain as well. If you want your child to imperfect bodies, you should not pass snide remarks about other people's odd shapes.

For early school going children: (six to nine years)

Encourage independence by letting your child get his/her own snacks and occasionally choose what's for dinner, but make sure the options are healthy ones, if not guide them but don't keep it a routine.

Encourage enjoyable physical activities, avoid too much performance pressure. Almost anything that involves movement climbing trees, playing with a hoop, skating, any other ground activities is good for weight control.

Have pleasant dinners together as a family.

For pre adolescents (nine to twelve years)

Make sure there are healthy snacks available in the fridge.

This is a time of rapid growth and great appetites try not to overreact to a somewhat soft body shape and even a slight potbelly at this age.

Children start becoming obsessed with appearance at this age and are very sensitive to remarks pertaining to their bodies. Helping them feel good about themselves can boost their self esteem and prevent an unhealthy obsession with weight.

Encourage a physical activity that can be continued into adulthood, if your child wants to start a jogging programme, be sure that the child's goal is clear. But also take care that the emphasis should be on enjoyment rather than competition, because jogging for exercisese is fine, but running marathons at this age mey be dangerous.

At any age, slimming is most successful when it's tackled as a family problem; so everyone in the family cuts down on too many high fat and sugary foods, eats a balance diet and exercises daily, whether it's a bicycle ride to a friend's house or a family walk after supper.

An important point here is that parents pass their exercise habits on to the next generation. If a child se their parents exercising regularly, they are far more likely to be interested in sports. Since we can't change our genes, we need to tip the scales in favour of slimness by serving meals and snacks that are moderate in fat and kilojoules, and by showing that physical activity is a pleasure, not a chore. Make exercisese a family affair by planning active weekends.

Making fitness and health a family endeavour, is the only way to tackle the situation.


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