Obesity in children can be quite common these days because of the poor dietary choices that we make today but it is also important to understand that obesity can result in long term health problems. This makes it necessary that parents take adequate steps to control this beforehand. Here are some beneficial tips that can help prevent childhood obesity and keep your child free of ailments for longer-
- Inculcate healthier eating habits: Early childhood nutrition is very important; what children are taught from an early age is what they usually continue to follow for their entire lives. Especially food habits, research shows that if children are taught to eat a certain group of food in their early childhood they would more often than not stick to the same for their lifetime. Let’s say your child is used to eating rice and not roti, he might continue to pick rice over rotis for most of his lifetime; unless his preferences change after a certain period of time which is quite rare. It becomes necessary to teach your children from a young age about the importance of including fruits and vegetables in their diet and having nutrition-dense meals. You can start by ensuring that your child is consuming at least two fruits a day and for meals, one green vegetable without fail.
- Make sure they consume enough water: We all already know how essential water is for the human body and it is of prime importance to teach children about the same. It is advisable to consume 8-10 glasses of water a day. To add this to a child’s daily routine, as parents what you can do is give children a water bottle and let them know that they have to empty the entire bottle 4 times (depending on the capacity of the water bottle) in the day. Doing so would get them in a routine but also remember not to force it on them as this would take time and your child might not initially drink the entire bottle for the set amount of time.
- Teach them portion control: Most times when kids are hungry, parents might overfeed them which is again wrong. Portion control is another skill that children should be taught, it comes handy their entire life. You can start by ensuring that instead of taking three heavy meals, your kid is eating smalbler portions with intervals in between. This would keep them feeling fuller for longer and would also keep them away from overeating or binge eating.
- Include healthier meal options: Another thing that parents can do to ensure that their children stay healthy is by finding healthier alternatives for any junk that their kids might consume. For eg: If your child loves pizza you can make it at home by preparing a wheat base instead of using all- purpose flour. Doing so would also not keep them from eating their favourite foods and would also help to add a little extra nutrition to their meal. Moreover, you can also look up healthier snack options online and feed them those during their evening snack time or as a mid morning snack.
- Include at least 60 mins of physical activity daily: It is important for kids to stay active in order to maintain a balanced weight. Teach your child to include some kind of physical activity to their daily routine. It can be an hour of playground time or maybe a yoga session if that is something you and your child might enjoy together. You can also go on walks together, anything that keeps your child physically active is helpful.
- Reduce the screen time: Children these days are stuck to tablets or mobiles the entire time and it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that does not happen. It is essential that you maintain a proper time table as to how much screen time would be allowed for your child in a day. This would not only ensure that your child isn’t stuck at just one place the entire day but would also save them from a lot of long term health issues like obesity, eyesight problems and so on. It would help you include a lot more productive activities to their routine as well.
- Maintain a proper time- table: Maintaining a proper time-table for your kids would be a great idea since it would ensure that your kid isn’t spending time on anything for more than the suggested time. This means that your child would have a proper waking up time, a schedule for the entire day which would include how much time he spends on a particular activity and a proper time to eat and also a better sleep schedule. The importance of a proper sleep schedule cannot be ignored, be it for kids or for adults. Research has shown that maintaining a proper sleep schedule helps to keep a lot of diseases at bay.
- Get their BMI percentile checked: BMI or Body Mass Index is a scale that compares your body weight to your height and thus helps calculate the fat percentage of your body. In children; a BMI percentile helps compare your child’s BMI to other’s of the same age and gender. If your child’s BMI is 85th percentile or above they are at a risk of being overweight or obese.
You can apply the above mentioned tips for your child’s better health. You’ve taken all the above measures to control the weight of your child but are still experiencing obesity issues. It is advised that you consult a paediatrician
at SPARSH today!