One does not need a survey to track the rise in obesity among children. Only a visit to your child’s school could be enough to give you a glimpse of the same. According to the expert, several reasons such as poor dietary habits, sedentary lifestyle, only work and no play are responsible for the increasing incidence of obesity.
When Should You Say the Child is Overweight or Obese?
The child is called obese if his BMI (weight in (Kg) divided by height (m) is more than the 95th percentile.
What Causes Obesity In Children?
The most common causes of obesity are:
-Genetic Factors: Genes play a crucial part in the overall body structure and metabolism of a child.
-Dietary Habits: Eating high energy, nutrient poor foods that are high in simple sugar and unhealthy fats is one of the common reasons. Obesity comes as a consequence of a situation when the child prefers to have junk food over simple healthy food, obesity.
-Lack of Physical Activity: All TV and no play make children obese and lethargic.
What Can You As Parents Do To Manage It Better?
1 . Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
Include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, and low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein. Encourage to drink at least 8 glass of water a day. Make sure the child eats fruits and nuts. To develop interest, involve your kids in menu planning and try innovative ways to make the dishes nutritious yet not monotonous.
2 . Restrict Calorie Intake
Try and restrict the intake of rich temptations like chocolates, chips, ice creams and other high-fat and high-sugar, or salty snacks. Do not stop giving them these yummy options, howeve, make sure you treat them with these. Teach them the difference between healthy foods and junk foods and try adding tasty fruit and vegetable recipes such as a medium-size apple, a medium-size banana, 1 cup berries or grapes.
3 . Practice Portion Control
Introduce to them the concept of a balanced diet. Make them understand the concept of balance diet, different nutrients and their functions in our body. Our plates have become bigger over the years, and we are often guilty of piling them high with food. Make sure you serve food in smaller plates with smaller spoons.
4 . Have Meals Together
It is a good practice to have meals together and make sure you do that often. Not only is it more fun, but studies have shown that children who regularly eat with their parents consume more fruit and vegetables, and are usually less likely to be overweight.
5 . Make Sure Your Child Is Physically Active
Exercise forms an integral part of not only an adults’ routine but a child’s’ too. Encourage your child to participate in games and sports. Make sure they play for at least 60 minutes every day. You can introduce him to a sport or take him for a brisk walk, rope jumping, swimming or dancing or any of the sports that are to his liking. Make it a point that you restrict your child’s screen time and limit the use of ipads, phones and other electronic gadget. Encourage your child to keep moving by making him/her a part of age appropriate daily chores. This will help him/her stay physically active and enhance the bonding with other family members.