A healthy life should start when we are young. When a child has a weight problem
"Heee Moby Dick, fatso, jelly pudding!!" Yes I heard those words when I was little too. And I hated it and even started to hate myself. I started eating even more. Just because I felt miserable and when I was sixteen my weight was around a 196 pounds. I've tried a hundred diets back then, had a doctor who laughed at me when I came to his practice and teased me about my weight. He thought it would help. My parents, they just let me. They were too busy fighting each other.
Overweight is becoming more and more a problem for children. The number of children who are overweight is increasing every year. But something can be done. For children it is easier to lose weight than for the adults. If there is just a little overweight, the general advice is not to let them lose weight just because they are growing. If there are more than a few pounds to many, help them. If we don't help and teach our children, overweight will start to kill more people in the future.
The weight for boys and girls. How it should be.
These are averages. Some kids are taller or have a different build compared to others. When their weight is higher than showed here, it doesn't always mean they are overweighed
Reward the child when it's doing its best to eat healthy instead of eating snacks. A child will get motivated, feel better about it and will get motivated to maintain the habit of eating healthy food. When the weight goes down and you give them a compliment it will make them feel more self secured and more motivated.
At the dinner table
When you're having a family meal, it's important that as much as possible family members sit by the table. Not in front of the TV. This will prevent eating out of habit when they feel like it, without thinking about it.
Eating meals at the same time every day is important too. Most of the time we have three meals a day. But with overweight it's better to have six small meals instead of three large meals. In between meals you don't have to eat than. Except maybe a piece of fruit. Food products with a lot of fibers work too. It will make a child eat less but is healthy
Teach your child to eat slowly. Not just putting it in the mouth and swallow. When you eat slower, you will notice you eat less so you won't over eat. And when a child is full, it's full. Don't force them too much to finish their plates.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body needs to start up its metabolism in order to be able to burn calories. When skip breakfast, chances of getting overweighed are bigger. When your child isn't used to having breakfast, start with small portions until you reached the right amount.
Breakfast isn't just healthy; it's also good to be able to concentrate in school.
Watch the in between meals
Don't tempt the child to eat the wrong things. Don't get candy or chips at the supermarket. Those in betweens are too fat or contain too much sugar. Once a week is more than enough to eat something like that. And drinks? No cola please. What about a simple cup of thee?
Maintain the weight
Because a child will still grow it's more important to maintain the weight than to lose weight. If they have an overweight problem when they are young it's possible they will lose it while growing and especially when they eat normal and healthy. A crash diet will have a so called jo-jo effect. The body is maintaining some sort of resting period while it gets a too low amount of calories. They will have the weight back very soon too and it will be even harder to lose weight again. It's important that a child learns how to eat healthy without feeling hungry.
Don't put your child on the scale more than once a week. Be conscious that your child will still grow and so he or she will become heavier. It's also good when your child maintains a certain weight for a while.
Try to find the causes of eating too much
When a child eats too much too often, there may be another cause for the eating habit. Like eating to comfort, insecurity, low self esteem depression or fear. Try to talk about it or when this doesn't work, find some help. As long as you don't know the reason it's hard to teach a child to eat healthy.
Not too much TV (or PC)
Children seem to be hanging in front of the TV more and more these days. Playing games on their play station, watching movies or surfing the I-Net. This is also a cause of overweight. They hardly move and still they eat chips, chocolate, drink cola. It isn't a problem if they do this for just a few hours a day, but some children do it all day.
Exercise with your children
Make sure your child exercises enough. Take the bike or walk together, go swimming, play football or tennis. Not only does your child need the exercise, but you too. Be an example for your child. In exercising and healthy eating habits. When you don't have too much time to do this yourself, let them join a club. It's good for their confidence and at the same time a great opportunity to make new friends.
What does a child need
*)The smallest amounts are for the youngest children. For children who are older, it's 450ml for the girls and 600 ml for the boys.
Just prevent that a child needs to go on a diet. Let us teach them by being the example for them and show them about healthy foods. They are the adults of the future and they don't need to die at a young age.
Read the other hubs about living a healthy life for more advice.
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