Childhood obesity is a chronic health issue in children characterized by an excess amount of body fat. Children might get obese from genetics or lifestyle. If not prevented, obesity keeps increasing with age and gets associated with various other chronic ailments. Check out below the tips to avoid obesity in children.
Risks of childhood obesity
- Causing to be teased or bullied, creating lower self-esteem, depression and social isolation.
- Other Chronic disorders ( like sleep apnoea, asthma, type 2 diabetes, further leading to kidney failure or heart issues), etc.
- Adult obesity associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, several types of cancers and heart problems.
Ways to avoid obesity in children
Help stay active
Children must perform at least 1 hour of moderate physical activity, preferably every day or most days in the week. Children often imitate adults and their parents. That is why we advise every parent to add physical activity to their routine to encourage your kid for joining them. The right amount of physical activity can balance your calories and fight obesity besides being fun for kids.
Some kinds of moderate physical exercise are:
- Brisk walking
- Playing tag
- Jumping rope
- Playing soccer
Reduce the sedentary time
Besides encouraging physical activity, try helping your child to avoid excess sedentary time. Some quiet time for homework and reading is harmless. However, restrict the time the child plays video games or watches television or surfs the internet to up to 2 hours each day. Moreover, the AAP (American Academy of Paediatrics) recommends that kids up to 2 years must not watch television. Instead, encourage kids to perform fun activities on their own or with their family members to involve more activity.
Encourage healthy eating habits.
Another part of balancing calories is consuming foods that supply sufficient nutrients and the right amount of calories. Try helping your child to learn to grow aware of what they consume by encouraging them for healthy eating habits.
Healthy eating has no secret. To enable your kids to develop healthy eating habits:
- Provide kids with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Give them low or non- fat milk and dairy items.
- Choose fish, poultry, meat, beans and lentils for protein.
- Give reasonably-sized portions.
- Please encourage them to have plenty of water.
- Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Restrict the consumption of saturated fat and sugar.
Find ways to make tasty dishes healthier.
By adding some attractive green vegetables or some soybeans or corn in the regular recipes, you can make your child’s favorite meals tastier as well as healthier. Also try substituting fatty items in the recipes with healthier alternatives, retaining the taste.
Remove calorie-rich temptations
Reducing calorie-rich temptations of salty snacks or, high sugar or fat can help your child grow healthy eating habits. Permit your kid to eat sometimes only so that these indeed turn into treats. Below are some low-sugar, low-fat treats that are easy to get and contain 100 or fewer calories.
- A medium-sized apple
- A medium-sized banana
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 cup of grapes
- 1 cup of bell pepper, broccoli or carrots with 2tbsp of hummus
What counts as one serving?
- One bread slice
- ½ cup of cooked pasta or rice
- ½ bowl of cooked cereal
- 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal
- ½ cup of cooked or raw vegetables (chopped)
- 1 cup of fresh leafy vegetables
- One piece of fruit wedge
- ¾ cup of juice
- ½ bowl of canned fruit
- ¼ bowl of dried fruit
- 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat yogurt or milk
- 2 ounces of cheese
- 2-3 ounces of cooked fish, poultry or lean meat
- One egg or ½ cup of baked dry beans or 2tbsp of peanut butter counts as 1 ounce of lean meat
Fats and sweets
- Limit calories from them.
Kids aged 4-6 years can have the above sizes of servings. Offer less besides milk to children aged 2-3 years. Those of 2-6 years daily require a total of 2 servings from the high milk group.
Lifestyle tips to avoid obesity in children
- Aim for good health instead of a specific weight goal. Teach and demonstrate positive and healthy attitudes towards physical activity and food without stressing on body weight.
- Focus on your family. Avoid setting apart overweight kids. Involve the entire family in together working out the lifestyle changes.
- Establish eating together and, snack and regular meal times as frequently as you can. Make available a large variety of healthy foods as per the Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children. Ascertain when what food is offered and allow your kid to decide whether and what quantity to consume.
- Discourage children to have meals while viewing TV. Watching TV makes it hard to attend to feelings of fullness and might result in overeating.