Teach your child to eat well to avoid the extra pounds
It is quite tempting, when you get home after a day of work, to give to your child to eat only what he wants. However, for a long term, you’re not doing him a favor. A child certainly doesn’t know what is good for him and one day you may find out that your child eats, for example, only cereal with milk or french-fries. Unfortunately, most children do not choose to eat healthy foods like vegetables; they tend to choose food or dishes that are very high in calories and nutritional unbalanced. In time, this thing can lead to obesity.
It is not necessary to become obsessed with your child’s weight or to put him on a weight loss diet, but if you notice that his weight seems to get out of control, you need to take some measures. Remember that, in the last decade, the rate of obesity has risen alarmingly among children.
To make sure that your kid does not accumulate any pounds in excess, it is recommended to weigh and measure him regularly. Thus you will be able to compare his weight curve with normal limits. The weight is not the only evaluation criteria- the body mass index should be analyzed, too. Body mass index is defined as the individual’s body mass divided by the square of their height. This index should be evaluated according to the age of the child and to some other medical criteria. During the first months of life, body mass index is very high and reaches its maximal values around the age of 1 year. Once your baby begins to walk, this curve slowly falls down, until the age of 6 years.
At the age of 3, there might be some significant ups in your child’s weight. To keep them under control, but also to teach him some good eating habits, you must follow a few rules:
- Prepare for your child four meals a day: breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.
- Meals should consist of small portions of food and you should not give your child another portion, if he has not asked for it.
- Allow the child to eat in his own rhythm. Don’t try to rush him. Most children eat too slowly, so be patient with them. Tame him only if he eats too quickly, without chewing the food sufficiently.
- Teach him to appreciate fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid foods which are too fatty or too sweet.
- Limit the consumption of sugary soft drinks. Save them for special occasions, such as birthdays or family parties.
- Clear all the special sweet surprises out of cupboards. In time, these surprises become habits which are really hard to fight.
- Encourage your child to do physical exercises. Any kind of physical movement, whether it is an organized sport or a simple walk in the park, it is important for the health of your child.
- Limit the time spent in front of the TV or computer. Movies and computer games mean inactivity and snacking.
ALL THESE GOOD HABITS/RULES SHOULD BE APPLIED TO ALL FAMILY MEMBERS. – YOUR CHILD DOESN’T HAVE TO FEEL FRUSTRATED OR PUNISHED BECAUSE OF HIS “ROUND” TUMMY.
LAROUSSE- Copilul tău de la naștere la 6 ani, ed. Rao, 2007