Parents guide to dealing with childhood obesity

by Neha Malhotra

Expert 01Here is a parents’ guide to dealing with childhood obesity which has perhaps become a common sight

Obesity was often associated with adults. Well, not anymore. Childhood obesity is on the rise significantly. Not to go far, my own nephew is over-weight, two kids in our friends’ circle are also overweight. I was quite surprised to hear the word obese being associated with kids. On looking up, to my surprise, it is estimated that by 2025, India will have over 17 million obese children. India will stand second to China amongst 184 countries in respect to obese kids.Childhood Obesity 01

The need of the hour is to take preventive measures at the earliest rather than reaching a grave situation. Parents’ need to pay special attention to their kids if they are obese and work towards giving them a better and healthier life. Obesity can lead to a number of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even sleep apnea.

Also, they are likely to remain obese even when they grow up which can lead to greater health hazards. Here is what you need to do and do it now!

Watch calorie intake:

Weight management by watching your kids’ calorie intake can make the difference. Ideally for boys aged 7-10 years-2000 calories are enough, 2500 calories for 11-14 year-olds and 3000 calories for a 15-18-year-olds. For girls, 2000 calories for a 7-10-year-old suffice, 2200 calories for 11-18 year-olds. You can check for calories for the foods that you give your child and create a diet for them.Childhood Obesity 02

Instill healthy eating:

The best way to stay fit is to make healthy eating habits a lifestyle. Create healthy alternatives to junk food and let them enjoy it. Instilling healthy eating habits will help them make the right food choices at all times. Fried food and sweets should be cut down on as the first step. Homemade soups are also great for kids. Snacking on chips, biscuits should be discouraged whilst replacing them with fresh seasonal fruits. You can also replace snacking with these tasty and quick healthy side dish food.Childhood Obesity 03

Increase water intake:

The biggest reason for most infections and health hazards is the lack of inadequate water intake. It’s also something we never think about. Make sure they drink plenty water through the day. Four to six glasses of water are enough for a child. Replace water with unhealthy drinks and packed juices. You can also try healthy drinks for kids besides water.Childhood Obesity 04

Increase physical activity:

These days all you see children play are video games or their play stations. Gone are the days when we would look forward to evening to get together with our friends and play games outdoors. Firstly, restrict their time to watch tv or play games. Encourage them to go out and play in the park. Get your kids to join a sport as that’s the best possible physical activity. Swimming, lawn tennis, and badminton are great options. Biking is also a pretty good exercise. Yoga for kids is also catching up, this will also help them increase concentration for studies and remain positive. You can get your kids to start with these easy yoga poses for kids.Childhood Obesity 05

Sunday is binge day:

Let Sunday be a binge day for them to enjoy few knick knacks which they aren’t allowed all week. This will teach them self-control. Sweets, drinks and fried food can be reserved for this day. Also instead of taking them out to eat, create sumptuous dishes both sweet and savory at home – you can improvise too! 

Be what you want your child to be:

We often hear people say that your conduct should be such that your child can also learn from you. That rule applies here too. Only if your child sees you maintain a healthy lifestyle, they will be encouraged to do so too. So make the right choices as your kids are always watching!

So if you feel your child is pleasantly plump, well you need to swap your thought and your food choices!

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