How to help children maintain a healthy body weight ? Scientific research has proven time and time again that children who maintain a healthy weight as they grow up have a significantly higher chance of becoming fitter and healthier. They also tend to do well in school and have more self-confidence.
Moreover, children who maintained a healthy weight while growing up are much less likely to experience serious health problems later in their lives. It is the reason why parents should encourage them to lead a more active lifestyle and eat healthier.
With that, these kids will more likely have a healthy weight and maintain it until they grow up. How to help children maintain a healthy body weight ? If you are a parent, then guide your child towards a path of health with the help of these tips.
Become a positive role model
One of the best ways to teach your children good habits is to lead by example. Be a good role model for your children by being more active and eating healthily. Instead of spending the afternoon watching the television, go for a walk or ride your bike around the neighborhood with the kids.
Also, show your kids that you are eating vegetables and having fun while doing so. If you are a picky eater, then your child will most likely follow suit. When changing their diet, make sure to start small. Get them involved with the change, too, as this might be a way to encourage them.
Be more active
Children need around an hour of physical activity for good health. However, it does not need to be done all at once. A couple of 10-minute or 5-minute bursts of physical activities spread out through the day will be more than enough and is just as good as a full hour of playtime.
If you have younger kids, the physical activities can be in the form of playing catch, playing tag, riding a tricycle or scooter around the yard, or using any of the equipment in the local playground. Older kids can get their exercise from riding their bikes around the neighborhood, skateboarding, or just walking to and from school (if possible).
You can set a good example by walking to the bus stop and taking public transportation as often as you can. If your workplace is just a mile or two away, you can just walk the entire way.
Feed your child appropriate-sized portions
Avoid feeding your young kids food portions that are way too much for them. There is no official guide on the right portion size, but you can just go with your gut feel. If you notice that your child has trouble finishing his plates, then it is a sign that you are probably giving him too much to eat.
It would be best to give them small servings at first then let them ask for more if they are still hungry. Moreover, do not force your child to clean his plates if there are leftovers, provided you know that he has enough. To make things easier, don’t let your kids use adult-sized plates. Let them use smaller ones to make portion sizes easier to control.
Eat healthy foods
Children and adults should eat at least five portions of fruit and veggies daily as they are great sources of vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and fiber. Getting five portions a day should not be that difficult. All kinds of fruits and vegetables count as a portion, be it frozen, canned, fresh, or dried.
You can also have fruit or veggie juices and smoothies if you want. Reserve sugary and high-fat foods as treats for later. Prevent your kids from making it a habit to snack on such unhealthy stuff since they are high in calories and low in vitamins and nutrients.
Your child should receive most of the calories he needs from healthy sources like fruits and vegetables. Other sources include starchy foods like grains, bread, pasta, potatoes, and others.
Make sure that they are properly hydrated
Ensure that your child is drinking more than enough water every day. Their urine should almost always be clear to prevent dehydration. One way to ensure that your kids are getting enough water is to give them their own water bottle. Make sure that they take a sip every once in a while even when they are not thirsty.
Aside from water, offer them other healthy beverages, like plain milk or tea. However, avoid serving them fruit punch, fruit drinks, soft drinks, and other beverages that contain too much sugar.
Limit the amount of screen time and make them sleep more
Limit the amount of time your child watches television, plays video-games, or surfs the web on their gadgets. If possible, do not give them portable electronic gadgets at a young age. Experts say that children should get no more than two hours of screen time a day, but it is up to you if you think that is too strict and should be much longer.
The important thing is that there are no electronic screens in their bedroom during bedtime. Young children should have at least 9-10 hours of sleep a day, including naps. This provides enough time for their body to process all the foods they ate throughout the day.
With that, you have an assurance that their body can absorb the vitamins and nutrients much better. Note that there is a link between lack of sleep and obesity, so make sure that your kids have enough sleep. Also, getting enough sleep and rest throughout the day will greatly improve your child’s mood.
Be more responsible when dining out
Dining out is one of the favorite bonding moments of parents and their children. However, if your goal is to make your kids maintain healthy body weight, then you have to be more responsible when doing so. Every time you dine out at a restaurant, ensure that you choose nutritious meals on the kid’s menu.
Some healthy options in the restaurant menu that are suitable for kids are grilled chicken wrap, some fruits, and carrots with dip. When ordering for delivery or takeout, then add something to the meal that is healthy for your kid. It could be a healthy side salad or one glass of low-fat milk.
Promote mindful eating
Another thing that you can do is to promote mindful eating at home. Ban gadgets during mealtimes, so everyone can focus more on the food on the table. Ask your child about their feelings when they are hungry, a bit hungry, uncomfortably full, and comfortably full.
Your goal is to make them more mindful of anything relevant to food. That way, you can teach your kids when they have had enough, and when they should stop. Aside from that, make it a point to discuss how important it is for them to trust and listen to their body cues.
Many people say that it is alright for children to be a bit chubby, especially when they’re young, but that is not always the case. You are setting your child up for a lifetime of unhealthy living if you do not curb their unhealthy habits early. As a parent, you should guide your child towards the path of health and make sure that they follows it for the rest of their life. Let us know if you enjoyed this article on How to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Body Weight. Feel free to leave a comment.
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