Childhood Obesity Prevention- Parental Information - A Healthy Guide
Keeping children healthy and growing strong means taking steps to keep them active and eating healthy foods every day. When a child eats a diet high in fatty and/or sugary foods; they are eating low nutrient foods.
A child can begin to gain weight especially if they are not active. Some children are genetically prone to be heavier. Either way, it is important to help your child minimize weight gain. If you think your child is overweight, it may be difficult to discuss.
You don’t want your child to feel self-conscious. Focusing on healthy habits, avoiding or minimizing low nutrient foods and increasing physical activity is a good place to start. The annual physical is a good opportunity for you to work with your pediatrician to discuss ways for your child to be healthier.
Childhood obesity affects many aspects of a child life today and in the future. There is no easy answer. But one thing is clear, prevention is the long term solution. It starts with arming children with the knowledge about nutrition at a young age. It starts with all of us making a commitment to building a new generation of nutrition minded children.
Sometimes it is hard for parents to be objective when it comes to their children. There are several diagnostic tools that can beused to determine if your child is overweight. The most common tool is the BMI for age.
Set up a pediatric physical for your child.
Review his or her BMI-for-age (see above BMI section) with your pediatrician.
To help you prepare for your child's next visit you can print this Age-Specific Pediatric Visit Sheet Take it to the pediatric visit to help guide your discussion.
Begin to set some goals to change habits as a family.
It is not easy to change our eating preferences and activity level as adults and it can be just as challenging for kids. That is why it is best to set one or two healthy goals to work on for a couple of months. Then as those new habits become second nature, move to the next goal.
If you are working with a nutritionist or dietitian, she/he will be able to help you understand what habits need to be modified and set some goals.
Written by Maggie LaBarbera
Written on Nov 06, 2011
Last updated on Oct 29, 2013