There are many environmental as well as genetic factors that can increase your child’s weight. Helping your overweight or obese child achieve and maintain a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for him. Adult caloric consumption and diet plans don’t work for kids because they cause nutritional deficiencies that could be dangerous for your child’s growth and development. So what’s the right way to do it? Following are some easy tips that are both safe and doable.
Find the right weight goal
A majority of younger children less than 5 years of age shouldn’t actually shed pounds because their growing body needs to maintain their weight at a slower rate. Older kids can lose 1- 2 pounds a week. The best way is to consult your child’s doctor regarding a healthy weight with respect to his age.
Say “NO” to diets and supplements
If your child is putting weight, your first step may be to put him on a diet plan or some sort of weight loss supplements. However, you should avoid such major calorie-cutting plans unless your paediatrician recommends it. Weight loss supplements or drugs are not a good idea as it is very little or no research on their safety and effectiveness.
Get the Rest of The Family On Board
Involve everyone in your family about how you would like to make certain dietary changes for your child and the whole family. Kids follow their parents closely and learn their eating habits from them. So instead of singling out your child, it’s important to lead him by example.
Fill Kids Up On Fruits and Veggies
Most fruits and veggies are highly nutritious and low in calories. To maintain a healthy weight, children need 1 to 3 cups of vegetables and 1 to 2 cups of fruit each day. You can follow the following strategies.
- Let your kid pick up his favourite fruits and veggies at the grocery store.
- Present a fresh fruit such as an apple or banana with every meal and snack.
- Make a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack.
- Instead of meat, use veggies in child-friendly dishes such as spaghetti, chilli, and lasagna.
Avoid Junk Foods
Sweets and junk food items are the favourite diets of modern-age children. Undoubtedly, these foods are good to taste buds, however, they contain artificial sweeteners, excess fats and calories that can be dangerous for your child’s health. In children, fat-rich foods are hard to digest by their immature gut system, therefore it tends to accumulate in the fat tissue and causes obesity. The best alternative way is to avoid junk foods and make healthy, nutritious food at home.
Various studies concluded that kids need at least 60-90 minutes of physical activity every day. If your child is lazy, you can help him work up to that goal:
- Help your kid find an exercise or some other physical activity he enjoys. You can also help him learn swimming, soccer, and dancing.
- Make a habit of going outside together for a walk, hike or bike riding.
- Instead of spending time playing computer games or in front of the TV, encourage him to spend more time outside to enjoy his favourite activity.
If you feel that your child is still not losing weight after you make these changes for a few months, it’s better to consult a health professional who specializes in weight loss for kids. He or she can better guide you related to your concerns.