Helping children stay healthy
Helping your child get or stay at a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do. But what is the best way of doing it.
There is no number on the scale that all kids must reach to be healthy. The right range depends on how tall they are, their gender and age. Most children are fine and don`t have to lose weight, they must just maintain it as they grow taller or put on more kg`s more slowly.
How do you know if your child needs to slim down. Talk to your health care provider, they can help you to come with a safe weight loss plan. You can also get some expert advice where to focus on to help your child to reach a healthy weight. No matter what their age is.
Ages 1 to 6
In most cases children at these ages should stay at the same weight or gain it at a slower rate.
What you can do yourself
When children are very young you are in charge of their routine. Make sure your child`s day includes plenty of active time, at least 60 minutes like climbing the jungle gym at a park, playing tag in the backyard , or jumping around the living room. They don`t have to do it all at the same time. Short periods of activity during the day will ad up to an hour.
At meal and snack times offer them a variety of nutritious choices. Your child and the whole family can eat healthier with a few simple steps.
Cut back on processed and fast foods
They are generally higher in calories and fat. Instead fill your child`s plate with fruits and vegetables , and trade white bread , rice and pasta for whole grain versions. They have fiber which can help your child to feel full for longer. Keep a food diary for your child this is proven to help losing weight even more.
If your child is not a fan of these changes in the first time`s , do not give up. research shows that children are more likely to eat something when they have seen it on their plates a few times.
Do not serve sugary drinks
Swap soda , juice and sport drinks for water and skim or low fat milk.
Encourage good eating habits
Three meals and two snacks a day can keep your child from getting too hungry, which makes them less to overeat.
Make small changes
Changing your family's diet all at once can leave your child upset or confused . Start with a few changes each week. Talk to your child about the choices you make. Explain that some foods give them more energy to play. Go to weight loss recipes
Age 7 to 10
What you can do yourself
Children at these age group have opinions of their own. But they still need help from their parents. This is the time to give your child the tools and lessons he needs to make healthy food choices for the rest of their life's. The next strategies can help you with that.
Stock your kitchen with nutritious foods
At this age children can help themselves to snacks. You can make healthier product choices for them easier by keeping the junk food out of the house. It is easier for you child to make the right choice when they deciding between an apple or a banana instead of an apple or a cookie, You don`t have to stop letting them eat cookies just limit the amount.
Set rules for TV and computer time
The time children spend sitting in front of a screen is time that they are not active. When this becomes a habit it will lead to weight gain. Let them know that they can only use their devices for a set time limit. When the screen time is over let them play . A total of 60 minutes throughout the day. That can be bike riding , playing soccer , swimming, catch or basket ball etc.
Get your child in the kitchen
It is a good time to teach them about how to eat healthy. Let them help to make a plan what to eat, shop for groceries and cook meals. On this way they will get more exited about preparing a meal . Go to weight loss books
Get the whole family involved
You do not want your child to feel left a side because of his weight. Talk about healthy choices and how important it is . Children will start to copy their parents habits. It means that if you want your child to eat more vegies or get more exercise you need to do it too.
You can start using the Kids breakfast pack that is packed with nutritional goodness that will give them a good start for the day.
Age 11 to 17
Many children need to stay at the same weight or gain at a slower rate as they grow up. After puberty your child may be able to lose up to 0.5 or 1 kg a week . Talk to your doctor to see what is right for your child.
What you can do yourself
Teens are old enough to make a decision about their own health. But your guidance is still important. Work together with your child to help them to make smart choices. Even better make a plan to get the whole family on the same page with food, exercise and less screen use.
Make health the goal
The wrong comments about your child`s weight can harm it`s self esteem. Take the focus off of weight loss. You should talk about being healthy and active, not about going on the scale .
Keep up family mealtime
Teens these days have busy schedules although it is important to sit down to eat as a family as often as you can. A study found that children who had family mealtimes at least three times a week were 24% more likely to eat healthy foods than children who didn`t.
If your child says that he wants to slow down , it is important to understand his motivation. Are other kids bullying him about his size? Is he trying to model celebrity`s physique? Those are not good reasons to try to lose weight.
Make sure that your child understands that looks are not the important part . It is about making healthy choices so your child has the energy to move and think. Then you can talk about specific ways to support him, like keeping junk food out of the house or planning a family walk or bike ride each evening.
Does your child want to try a weight loss plan? Some programs are specially designed for older children. Always talk to your doctor before he starts a plan of his own.
Encourage them to get moving
Like younger children preteens and teens need an hour a day of physical activity . They can spread it out over the day. At this age they are not interested any more in running around a play ground . You can help them to find a sport they like doing.
When they start moving more there will also be less time that they sit behind a screen or smartphone. Try to help them to reduce the screen time. You can show them the right way by putting your own devices away and get active to.