Every parent or guardian can make determined effort to help their children attain and maintain a healthy weight. A child’s well being involves staying active and consumption of healthy foods and beverages. It is the responsibility of every parent to take an active role in helping their children and family as well.
It is a little difficult to determine if a child is overweight since they grow at different rates and times. In addition, there is variation in the amount of body fat changes with age between boys and girls. However, a proven way to ascertain if a child is overweight is by calculating his or her body mass index (BMI). This device can determine if a child is underweight, normal, overweight or obese.
The statistics of children with weight problems has been on an alarming increase since three decades ago. At present, one among three children in the United States is considered overweight or obese. The extra weight gain subject children to health risks and life threatening diseases. Apart from the difficulty being experienced by overweight and obese children in relating with other kids, they often experience low self esteem, negative body image and depression.
Most causes of childhood obesity are as a result of too much eating and too little exercise. Although, children require enough for their growth and development, however, when they consume more calories than they burn, the consequence is weight gain.
There is every need for you to be concerned if your child has excess weight. This is because overweight may increase the chances of your child developing health problems in the future.
Overweight in children may result into short term complications like breathing problems or joint pains which may make it hard for them to keep up with other children. Other problems associated with overweight in children are type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Overweight children risk entering adulthood. Among overweight adults, the possibility of developing health problems like heart disease and cancer are very high. Although BMI is a good device, it cannot measure the health problems pertaining to individual child. However, you can contact your child’s doctor in case you are concerned with his or her weight. You don’t need to subject your child to a weight loss program without the consent of a doctor. This is because many children are still growing lengthwise and may need to reduce weight as they grow taller.
It is an important role expected from every parent or guardian. Your child should inculcate healthy habits like healthy eating, regular exercise and rest habits. Children should learn how to balance the quality of food and beverages consumed with physical activity. They should also be able to identify foods and drinks that are healthy.
As a role model, do what you teach. Eat healthy foods and drinks and your child will take after you.
Sit them down and discuss healthy habits with them. Discuss the role of physical activities and certain foods and drinks in making them strong and stay healthy. In addition, ensure that they get involved in physical activity everyday. Enlighten your child on how to make healthy choices about food, drinks and other activities outside the home.
This is very important for your child.
Research has linked weight gain to insufficient sleep in both children and adult. Let every member of the family be involved in building healthy eating and physical activity habits as your overweight child will not be exempted from this.
Apart from eating less and patronizing unhealthy food and snacks with high calorie, fat, salt and sugar content, the following options can be adopted to improve a child’s eating habits.
Children should be helped to eat better. This can be achieved by the following ways.
Physical activity should be made fun for the child. About an hour daily physical activity is required for children, although it is not compulsory the physical activity be carried out all at once. Motivate your child to be physically active, coupled with reward for eating healthy food.
Below are tips to consider to encourage your child to embark on daily physical activity:
You can assist your child by giving him or her support required to overcome overweight. Assist him or her to set specific goals and track his or her progress. Any success recorded should also be rewarded with praise and motivation.
Nothing encourages a child than to be told that he or she is loved, special and important. Do you know that the feelings of children about themselves are based on how they think their parents and guardians feel about them? Show them love.
You should endeavor to listen to your child’s feelings about his or her weight. Children need support and encouragement from their parents and guardians.