For those who are religious the holy book states that teach a child the way he should go and when he grows up he will not depart from it. That is not just a motivating statement but it is loaded with a lot of truth. Children are very observant; more than 80% of what the children learn is out of observation. We are focusing on the overweight children and advice for the parents who bring up these children. If your child is overweight dear reader, there are lots of things you can do to help them become a healthy weight as they grow. Doctor Akoury says that, as parents we ore our children the duty of care to protect them from all kinds of harms. Weight gain is one of the dangers that we must shield our children from. While appreciating that at times it may be difficult to tell whether your child is overweight because it is not only about the appearance. The child may not appear to be heavy, but he is still overweight. Coupled with the fact that many children are today being born heavy, we are probably a custom to seeing bigger children yes, but this doesn’t absolve us from playing our role as the care giver to our children.
There is a lot you can now do to help your child reach a healthy weight. Research has established that children who achieve a healthy weight tend to be fitter, healthier, better able to learn, and more self-confident. They’re also less likely to have low self-esteem and be bullied by their mates in their environs. And most importantly is that they’re much less likely to have health problems associated with weight gain in their adulthood. Therefore as parents we must take our rightful positions to help our children become a healthier weight. This can be done by making them to be more active and eat well balance diet. Nevertheless the following are some of the practical suggestions that can help you bring up healthy children.
To be successful in anything, you must work towards it. In our case we want health weigh children and the following are some of the works you need to do, first:
- Be a good role model
- Encourage at least one hour of physical activity on a daily basis
- Keep to child-size portions consistently
- Eat healthy meals, drinks and snacks
- Less screen time and more sleep
Let us now consider each of them briefly as we progress into the discussion.
One of the best ways to instill good habits in your child is for you to be a good role model. Like I have mentioned above children learn by example. One of the most powerful ways to encourage your child to be active and eat well is to do so yourself. Set a good example by going for a walk or bike ride instead of watching TV, or surfing the internet. Playing in the park or swimming with your children shows them that being active is fun, and it’s a great way for you all to spend time together.
- Any changes you make to your child’s diet and lifestyle are much more likely to be accepted if the changes are small and involve the whole family.
- Physical activity may be more appealing for your child if you do something as a family.
- Get Ideas tailored for getting children involved in switching to a healthier lifestyle.
As you get into the business of being active, remember that overweight children don’t need to do more exercise than slimmer children. Their extra body weight means they will naturally burn more calories for the same activity. But all the same all children needs at least one hour daily of exercise for good health. This minimum of 60 minutes can be done in portions say in bits of 10minutes through the day. However for younger children, it can take the form of active play, such as ball games, chasing games, riding a scooter, and using playground swings, climbing frames and see-saws. But as for older children it could include riding a bike, skateboarding, walking to school, skipping, swimming, dancing and martial arts.
Walking or cycling short distances instead of using the car or bus is a great way to be active together as a family. This mode of transport causes you money so if you drop then you will be saving money too.
Try to avoid feeding your child over-sized portions. In this practice, we have very little official guidance on precisely how much food children require. Therefore using your discretion, you need to be consistent with whatever the portion you are going to be allowing to be consumed. Remember not to starve your child in the pretext of losing weight. A good rule of thumb is to start meals with small servings and let your child ask for more if they are still hungry.
Try not to make your child finish everything on the plate or eat more than they want to. And avoid using adult-size plates for younger children as it encourages them to eat oversized portions. It may also help if you encourage your child to eat slowly and have set mealtimes. You can use mealtimes as an opportunity to catch up on what’s happened during the day.
Children, just like adults, should aim to eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables every day. These are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Discourage your child from having too many sugary or high-fat foods like sweets, cakes, biscuits, some sugary cereals and soft drinks. These foods and drinks tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients. Instead aim for your child to get most of their calories from healthier foods such as fruit and vegetables, and starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, pasta and rice (preferably whole meal). And switch sweet drinks for water.
- Alongside the advice to get them moving more is the need to reduce the time they spend sitting or lying down in the day.
- Engage the children in different house duties. This will be helpful for then as sitting and lying around too much may cause them to put on weight.
- Limit the time your child spends on inactive pastimes like watching TV, playing video games and playing on electronic devices.
- There’s no hard and fast advice on how much is too much, but experts advise that children should watch no more than two hours of television each day. And remove all screens (including mobile phones) from their bedroom at night.
- It also helps children stay trim if they sleep well. It’s been shown that children who don’t have the recommended amount of sleep are more likely to be overweight. The less children sleep, the greater the risk of them becoming obese. Lack of sleep can also affect their mood and behavior.
But in all these remember to consult with the experts consistently whenever you notice any difficulties. Doctor Akoury will be there for you on a phone call and handle your case in the best and most efficient manner.