What to do if children are overweight? Many parents do not know what to do when their child is overweight. Here is the advice. How much is too much? An essential guide for overweight children is the BMI (body mass index). A unique formula determines a value from weight and height within the normal range for both children and adults. Children heavier than 90 percent of their peers are too heavy. Experts say that more than 97 percent are very overweight.
In the case of overweight children, early action is vital. Because in addition to the extra kilos they drag around, they usually get bullied or teased because of their weight. It is not rare that overweight lays the foundation for diseases that children have to suffer throughout their lives. The first signs, such as high blood pressure or a fatty liver, can appear from school age, leading to diabetes.
What can parents do about their children’s obesity?
The cause of obesity in children is only about one percent of cases due to an illness. Most of the time, lack of exercise, the wrong diet, and the parents’ ignorance are the reasons behind the excess pounds. Dieting is usually the wrong approach for children because it is not necessary. After all, so many children fall into the yo-yo trap. The weight usually regulates itself in children under six if the parents ensure that they exercise enough and eat a healthy and balanced diet. If you are in doubt, check with your pediatrician.
Parents should observe the following rules in everyday life: What does my child eat anyway? Where are the sugar traps? Stay away from sweets and sugary drinks like soda, iced tea, and smoothies.
Eating meals together: Then vegetables, fruit, and whole grains should be on the table.
Sweets only in small dimensions.
Lots of exercises, preferably in the fresh air. Off to the playground, the forest, or the park. Free play is the best sport for children!
Media-free zone: TVs, tablets, and smartphones are taboo. Because if you watch TV, you don’t move.
Sleep – at least 10 hours a night.
Small changes have a significant impact.
You do not have to turn around the child’s diet overnight wholly. First, you should remove sugary drinks from your children’s menu and replace them with water and unsweetened teas. Attention: Light products are not an alternative!
Once the child has got used to this change, you can replace white flour products with the whole grain variant. Instead of ready-made products, you should prepare meals fresh. You should only give sweets in moderation. A small candy bar or a handful of gummy bears once a week. In this way, the child learns that sweets are special and not on the menu every day.
Parents need to lead by example.
It is essential to pull together as a family. Your child won’t see why they should forego things if you don’t lead by example. Whenever possible, prepare the food fresh and avoid ready-made meals. Try to cook less fat: lots of fruit, vegetables, and salads.
Give the children healthy breakfast bread to take with them to school. Fruit, carrot, and cucumber sticks are ideal for nibbling in between meals. A small ratio of sweets per day is also allowed – but only after the healthy snack.
Ensure that the children drink plenty of water or unsweetened tea; this also helps quench their thirst.
Let the children help with shopping and cooking: then they will learn about fresh food and how to prepare it from an early age. Rummage through cookbooks concurrently, go shopping together and eat meals as a family. In this way, food takes on a whole new role in your child’s life.
Try to eat together as often as possible and at regular times. If that doesn’t work for professional reasons, try to enjoy breakfast and dinner with the family. It should also be fun for everyone: don’t roll over any problems at the table, switch off stress factors such as television or loud music. During meals, reading, talking on the phone, or even arguing, including food, is taboo!
Movement in family life
In addition to a healthy diet, getting enough exercise is the key to healthy weight loss. Children should enjoy playing and being outdoors. Help find fun activities. Fat children usually do not like to move around (anymore): Therefore, start slowly with the sporting activities. Go cycling, swimming or hiking together at the weekend. It is also beneficial for the parents. You can easily integrate activity into everyday life. If your child has previously taken the bus the short distance to school, from now on, they should rather walk or ride a bike. Overweight children are often afraid of sports because other kids tease them there. Nevertheless, try to arouse your child’s interest and motivate them to perhaps register with the sports club. A non-binding trial training session can reveal whether your child is enjoying football or another sport. Team membership and athletic success strengthen not only fitness but also self-confidence.
So child obesity doesn’t have to become a lifelong problem if addressed early – as a family.
Often it is the eating and lifestyle habits that cause that the whole family has weight problems. Why not take a challenge and establish a new and healthier lifestyle for the family? The best time is always ” now.”
If you need help with losing weight and keeping on track, the Bright Line Eating program is a great program to support. It is based on cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. It is focused on establishing healthier eating habits and is also compatible with a vegan diet.
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