If you are concerned about your child's weight,encourage a variety of fresh , nutritious foods in his or her diet.
- Starchy food which contains rich in complex carbohydrates are bulky, relative to thge amount of calories they contain. This makes them both filling and nutritious . Sources such as bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, and chapatti should provide half the energy in a child's diet.
- Instead of high-fat foods like chocolate, biscuits, cakes, and crisps, try healthier alternatives such as fresh fruit,crusty bread or crackers.
- Try to grill or bake foods instead of frying. Burgers, fish fingers and sausages are just as tasty when grilled, but have a lower fat content. Oven chips are lower in fat than fried chips.
- Avoid fizzy drinks that are high in sugar. Substitute them with with fresh juices diluted with water or sugar-free alternatives.
- A healthy breakfast of a lower-sugar cereal (eg wholemeal wheat biscuits) with milk, plus a piece of fruit is a good start to the day.
- Instead of sweets, offer dried fruit or tinned fruit in natural juice. Frozen yoghurt is an alternative to ice cream. Bagels are an alternative to doughnuts.
To achieve lasting effects, the whole family attitudes and habits towards food and excercise need to change.
- Try to set a good example with your own eating habits.
- Provide meals and snacks at regular times to prevent "grazing" throughout the day.
- Don't allow your children to eat while watching TV or doing homework.
- Make mealtimes an occasion by eating as a family group as often as possible.
- Encourage children to "listen their tummies" and eat when they are hungry rather than out of habit.
- Teach children to chew food more slowly and savour the food, as they will feel fuller more quickly and be less likely to to overeat at mealtimes.
- Don't keep lots of high-fat, high-sugar snacks in the house.
- Try to get children involved in preparing food as this will make them more aware of what they are eating.
Doctors recommend a gradual increase in physical activity, such as brisk walking, to at least an hour a day.
- Encourage walking to places such as school and the shops, rather than jumping in the car or bus.
- Suggest going to the park for a kick around with a football, or a game of rounders, cricket or frisbee.
- Visit a local leisure centre to investigate sports and team activities to get involved in.
- Make excercise into a treat by taking special trips to an adventure play park or an ice skating rink, for example. Involve the whole family in bike rides, swimming and in-line skating.
- When it is safe to do so, teach your child to ride a bike.
Phyically inactive pastimes such as watching TV or playing computer games should be limited to around two hours a day or an average od forteen hours a week. Encourage children to be selective about what they watch and concentrate only on the programmes they really enjoy.
The Emotional Factors.
Food can take on emotional significance when used to comfort or reward children.
- Don't use food to comfort your child-give attention, hugs and listen.
- Avoid using food as a reward as this can reinforce the idea of food as a source of comfort. Instead of having a fast-food meal to celebrate a good school report, for example buy a gift, go to the cinema, or have a friend to stay overnight.
This a continuation of the previous link:-
Avoiding Childhood Obesity