By Kejal Shah (Sheth), Nutrivity
Parents shower kids with all the love and affection in the world, one of the channel is feeding them food. Comeing to their food and nutrition, do not give in to their every whim and fancy. Those chubby cheeks are cute. But those chubby cheeks may also be a sign of a rising risk that seems to be prevalent in young kids and that is unhealthy weight gain in children.
Unhealthy weight gain may prevent your child from living a healthy life. It also makes your child a target for health issues like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. This could also lead to other issues like being bullied by friends leading to low self-esteem or depression. Nowadays, there are increasing numbers of such cases being reported in young children. The culprit is the unhealthy lifestyle we lead.
Causes of Unhealthy Weight Gain
Binge eating while sitting in front of the television and having lots of carbonated drinks, chocolates, junk food, etc. lead to unhealthy weight gain. If your child complains about feeling tired or lazy all the time or if they consume a lot of junk food even after they are full, you need to take notice as these might be early signs of unhealthy eating habits and weight gain.
If you are concerned about your child’s weight, consult a doctor or family physician who can help you better. Most doctors use BMI (Body Mass Index) to measure the growth of the child with respect to their weight. Your doctor may be able to advise and guide you if your child scores high on these tests and suggest if more assessments or tests are required to plan the future course of action.
All this can be avoided if parents make the choice to change their lifestyle and include healthier options for kids. Kids pick up on what they see. If you are reaching for junk foods while they are made to eat their greens, things will not work out. So, I must stress upon the importance of leading by example.
Smart Tips to Avoid Unwanted Weight Gain
Here are some steps you can take to avoid your child’s unhealthy weight gain:
- Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or avoid them completely. Use fresh fruits to satisfy sweet cravings.
- Limit eating out, especially at fast-food joints and restaurants. Whenever you do go out, teach children to make healthier choices.
- Make sure that your child gets enough sleep every day.
- Limit TV and other “screen time” to below two hours a day for children older than 2 years, and do not allow television for children younger than 2 years of age.
- Do not have a clean-plate policy. If kids are full, do not force them to keep eating. Instead try and reinforce the idea that they should eat only when they are hungry.
- Reward kids for “Good behaviour” or try to stop bad behaviour with sweets or treats is a bad idea. This makes the kids do anything to gain sweets.
An important thing to keep in mind is that unwanted weight gain during childhood could affect his/her physical, mental, and social well-being and development.
A good blend of exercise and diet is important for a lifestyle change that can positively affect your child.