Weight loss tips for school going children
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Oct 18, 2021
When your child changes from a highly active primary school child to a tween who likes nothing better than settling on the couch with a bag of chips, it can be unsettling. The toddler and early childhood years of lots of outdoor play suddenly give way to more indoor time, television viewing, and of course, eating habits picked up from everyone around them.
More children are prone to being overweight in these tween years of 7 – 11 because of this shift. If your child is overweight, and you’re trying to help her lose weight, remember that the same tips and tricks that work for adults may not work for a child. Read on to find out how you can help your child lose weight.
What Causes Children To Be Overweight?
Here are some common reasons for children being overweight.
- Too much packaged food: Consumption of packaged food is common in this age group. These ready to eat snacks and food items may be high in taste acceptance but they are equally high in refined cereals, fats, salt and sugar. So these provide empty calories, and are low in other nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. if your child is consuming these on a regular basis, the chances of going overboard on calories are high, making him prone to obesity.
- Aerated beverages, packed juices: Similarly, aerated beverages and packed juice have a very high sugar content. They usually contain at least 10 grams of sugar, and even as high as 15 grams per 100 ml of the beverage. So if your child drinks 200-250 ml of these drinks, he is consuming 8 spoons of sugar at a time. This adds to extra calories in the diet
- Fried snacks: Not just the occasional treats like samosa and pakoras, but every day snacks that your child might be eating, like fries, potato chips, and namkeen are all generally fried. Not only are they high in fats but also have unhealthy trans-fats related to dyslipidemia, diabetes and other lifestyle disorders
- Ready to eat and refined foods: Pizza, burger, pasta, breads, naan, momos, cakes, and biscuits are all high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber. Low fiber in these foods offer lesser satiety and your child feels hungry earlier compared to if he eats regular meals. So your child ends up eating more than his requirements and this can lead to unhealthy weight gain
- Too much candy and sweet intake:We might often end up indulging our children with sweet things including chocolates, candies, ice creams, and mithai. If your child has a sweet tooth and is taking these regularly, these would again result in unhealthy weight gain in a child
- Eating out too often: With extremely busy lives, eating out has become more and more regular now. The same dishes when cooked at home and in a restaurant can vastly differ in the calorie and nutrition content
- Spending too much time indoors: When your child spends more time playing games online or watching television, the tendency to snack on junk food is higher. And when these snacks are easily accessible – like a cookie jar on the dining table, or candy bars in the refrigerator – it becomes a habit
Balanced Meals: Healthy eating begins at home. So make sure you offer plenty of nutrient-rich food to your child, so that she doesn’t feel the need to snack on junk food.
- Proteins: Give her foods rich in proteins like whole dals, beans, tofu, lean meat, chicken, poultry, low fat curd, paneer or cheese
- Whole grain cereals: Since carbohydrates are an essential part of your child’s diet, choose whole grain cereals like oats, whole wheat atta, barley,bajra, ragi, dalia, unpolished rice, and rice flakes for different meals
- Plenty of vegetables and fruits: Include vegetables, especially dark green leafy veggies, and fruits like apples, citrus fruits, melons and papayas in your child’s daily diet
- Toned milk products: Since milk is generally an important component of a child’s diet choose toned or double-toned milk instead of the full-fat version
- Water: Keep your child well hydrated with 6-8 glasses of water in a day. Thirst is often confused with hunger. So make sure that your child drinks water through the day
Outdoor play:Your child needs an hour of physical activity in a day. Help her by making plans for outdoor sport, or family outdoor time, or family outdoor time.
- Find an activity she likes: Your child may be interested in tennis, or dance. Find out what she likes and encourage her to pursue it. Take her for sessions and applaud her efforts.
- Go out together: Plan an easy trek, or a swimming session as a family. You can set a healthy trend by doing every week
Eat together: Having meals together is a sure-shot way to encourage healthy eating.
- Involve your child in preparing meals: it could be simple tasks like making a salad from ingredients you’ve kept ready for her
- Eat together at the table with the entire family: Lay out healthy dishes when there’s more wholesome food and less junk on the table, the eating habits definitely improve
Tips For Weight-Loss For Your School-Going Child
As a parent, you might try hard to help your child build a positive body image. It also includes helping her maintain a body weight that is healthy, and suited to her age. Here are some tips for helping your school-going child lose weight:
A change in eating habits does not happen overnight. Keep at it, encourage your child to eat healthy. Make healthy food swaps if your child is used to eating a lot of processed food. For a complete and balanced weight loss plan, consult your child’s pediatrician and a nutrition and diet specialist.
Did you find these weight-loss tips for children useful? Please share your feedback with us in the comments section!
| Jul 13, 2018
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| Dec 11, 2019
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