How to Help Your Overweight Child?

Sep 26, 2013

Children all over the world are facing problems with their weight. Kids as young as preschool age are overweight today and it is a cause of concern. Pediatricians believe that if the problem is not dealt with at an early age, these children will turn out to be obese adults with health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Some common reasons for excessive weight gain at such a young age may be poor eating habits, irregular food portions and diets high in sugar and refines carbohydrates, sedentary lifestyles with low levels of physical activity and poor selections of foods when dining out.

As parents, you play a big role in guiding and setting a good example to your preschool children when it comes to eating habits. Young kids almost always eat what is prepared for them, so you should always be mindful of what you are serving to them and what you are eating yourself.

Here are some things you can do to inculcate good eating habits:

1. Take your children with you when you go grocery shopping. Point out types of foods that are healthy. Discuss with your children why those foods are healthy. Similarly, talk about food items that are not so good for health and the reasons. Let your child choose five healthy foods and let him indulge in a small portion of not-so-healthy food as a treat. The reason for this is that you don’t want your preschooler to go to a friend’s house and only target the unhealthy foods since he is not getting any at home. Keep away from sweetened drinks, substituting them with fruit juices.

2. Make a menu for school snacks together and stick to it. Include a portion of fruit, carbohydrates and some nuts for proteins and plenty of water.

3. Control the amount of sugar that comes into the house. Sugar has a way of sneaking up on us. Ice-cream, cookies, soft drinks, cordials, cakes, sweets, chocolates and many other foods contain sugar. You should treat your kids to these foods once in a while, but never on a daily basis.

4. Include some physical activity for your child on a daily basis. Set a good example by getting off the couch yourself. Go for a walk, play some badminton, go on the trampoline; anything that involves physical activity. Limit TV and gadget time for yourself and your children.

Happy Parenting!