Balance is very important when it comes to maintenance of health in a child. There has to be a balance between the calories that are taken with the ones that are used in physical health and growth. It is important for the guardian to talk to a health practitioner before putting the child on a diet for weight reduction.
Whether the child is obese or at risk of overweight, the following tips will help to get things in the right track.
Have annual well-child appointments
The child should be taken to the doctor at least once per year. These visits will ensure that the child is growing well and it will also prevent obesity. The doctor will calculate the height and weight of the child to get the body mass index (BMI) as this helps to know whether the child is obese. When the BMI is high or the percentile rank is high, it indicates that the child is at a risk of getting obesity.
Setting an example
It is important for the guardian and the parents to take a healthy diet so that the child can follow in these footsteps. The guardian is also encouraged to exercise regularly and then invite the child in this healthy living.
Avoid power struggles related to food
The parent can unintentionally lay the ground battles for withholding or providing certain foods to the child. This can occur in cases where the guardian uses sweets as a reward or keeping them away as a form of punishment. The general rule is that food should not be used for rewarding or punishing the child.
Emphasize and highlight on the positive things
The guardian can encourage a healthy lifestyle by highlighting on the positive things in the child. This can be done by playing outside the house as this is a form of exercise or taking a variety of fruits. The child should be taught on the positive impacts of healthy living. For example exercise does not only help to prevent obesity but it also helps to make the lungs, muscles and heart stronger. The child should also be encouraged to take food only when hungry to avoid overeating just because of boredom. It is also advisable to make the favorite dishes of the child healthier by making few changes to the diet.
Exercise patience with the child
Most children who are overweight tend to grow into the extra pounds as they grow taller. The guardian should avoid having all the focus on the eating habits of the child and the weight as putting too much pressure on the child can backfire. This can make the child to overeat and this means that they would become more prone to obesity.
Maintain personal responsibility
Obesity is likely to occur in the other family members. In cases where the guardian wants to lose weight, the child will also be motivated to lose. Taking part in exercise together with the child is a good motivation for both and the child will not feel pressured. The guardian should not expect the child to do what they are unwilling to do.