pediatrician carrying a healthy kid

Advice for Parents: Helping Your Overweight Child

pediatrician carrying a healthy kidWhile more kids are becoming heavier at a younger age, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay for your child to stay overweight. Excess pounds can contribute to a number of health problems, such as asthma, diabetes, and fatty liver. Overweight or obese kids are also likely to be bullied or have low self-confidence, which can negatively affect their quality of life.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help your child achieve and maintain a healthier weight. Miami medical clinics and GPs share a few things that can help:

Set an example

Kids learn from adults, so it best to be a good role model. Show them that you care for your health by eating well and exercising most days of the week. Keep in mind that a healthy diet and lifestyle are likely to be accepted if they involve the entire family. The same is also true for exercise; it is more appealing to kids if everyone in the family does it or enjoys working out.

Get moving

Overweight kids don’t need to do overly demanding exercise routines to lose weight. Children between two to five years can benefit from playing actively several times daily. This may involve ball games, tag games, or using playground swings. Older kids and teenagers should get 60 minutes of physical activity, which could include walking, riding a bike, swimming, or dancing.

Get your child to eat healthier

Apart from setting a good example, you can also improve your child’s eating habits by offering them healthy food options more often. You should also avoid serving large options — you can start with smaller amounts of food and let your kids ask more if they are still hungry. Other helpful tips include:

  • Make healthy foods and snacks accessible.
  • Don’t store or buy high-calorie foods.
  • Eat fast food less often.
  • Discourage eating in front of the TV or any other electronic device.
  • Eat together as a family.

Get enough sleep

Some studies suggest that excess weight is associated with less sleep. Kids who don’t get enough slumber are also likely to be irritable or have mood problems. Check this link to know the amount of sleep your child needs. You should also limit screen time or other sedentary pastimes, such as watching TV, surfing the net, or playing video games.

Apart from these tips, you can also partner with a doctor to help your child achieve a healthy weight. This is especially true if your little one has a medical condition.