Overweight child diet plans tips

Overweight and Obesity In Children:

Often with the changed lifestyle and food habits, our children are becoming less active but at the same time, they have long hours of work. These days we are flooded with growing food options that are commercially propagated for their profits. It is a big challenge to develop good food habits in children and at the same time be sensitive to their growing needs in terms of nutrients. It is always better for every parent to learn and track the growth changes in their child. There are growth charts available. Measuring height and weight at regular intervals and plotting it after calculating Body Mass Index with appropriate standardized growth charts would help the parent to identify if the child is growing as per the age requirements or the child is slowly increasing weight in the wrong direction. 

How to Check if a child is overweight:

Adult BMI charts are completely different from children. There are separate charts that are available particularly from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Indian Academy of Pediatrics. Choose these growth charts to track the BMI of the child. Any child whose BMI is above 85th percentile is classified as overweight and any child whose BMI is above 95th percentile is classified as obese. If you find difficulty in assessing the child consult a pediatrician.

Is the problem automatically solved?

Many parents think that as the child is growing these kinds of trends would get reversed automatically. But that may not happen and this is an important state that can impact the future with lifestyle diseases. Undoing the habits learned in childhood becomes a big task later for the child and also the parents. Identify the child as early as possible and take necessary measures to tackle the overweight problem so that it does not go into obesity which may cause disorders like early hypertension, glucose intolerance, and other hormonal changes in the child.

Inculcating healthy eating habits and good Physical Activity will go a long way in correcting this overweight or obesity trend in the child. Choosing healthy grains, including more fruits and vegetables, opting for low-fat dairy, limiting sodas and processed foods are few options. Limiting the screentime to not more than two hours also helps much.

Overweight child diet plans:

Avoid the below in the diet: 

Packed Juices, Cold drinks, Chocolates, Chips, Burgers, Pizzas and Pasta without vegetables, Chocolate spreads, Mayonnaise, Cheese, refined flour.

Incorporate the below in the diet: 

Whole fruits, Green Vegetables, leafy vegetables, whole grains, sprouts, healthy fats in the form of Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, etc.

First thing in the morning, it is good if they can have a glass of lemon water or honey water which helps to get rid off the toxins accumulated during sleep time. 

Mid Morning Hunger: Fruit Salad bowl with shredded cheese or light dressings.

Lunch and Dinner: Should include a balanced meal with all food groups (vegetables and grains). 

Mid Evening: Glass of Milk, Instead of processed sugar use honey or jaggery.

Take care of the below pointers for the diet plan.

1. When choosing an oil choose a healthier oil such as olive, ghee, or canola.

2. When choosing a salad dressing instead of ranch or creamy dressings try a vinaigrette or make your own at home with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

3. When choosing condiments try mustard or ketchup instead of mayonnaise whenever possible.

4. When preparing vegetables opt for steaming as opposed to frying which covers vegetables with more calories.

5. When choosing dairy products try to make these low fat which includes your milk, cheese, and yogurts, and make sure you choose healthy beverages.

6. Getting children involved in preparing meals is an excellent way to get them excited about trying new foods. When children are involved in the cooking of the foods they are often more excited and willing to try something new.

7. Avoiding television while eating also helps to inculcate good eating habits. 

8. Give Sprouts before every meal. They provide proteins, roughage, and Vitamins. It also prevents binge eating. You can use seasonal salad as well instead of sprouts.

Also remember it is good to allow the kid to eat anything that they want (yes, including junk food) once or twice a week as a reward if they follow the routine. Otherwise, the craving may be so high that they might reject your diet plan and start eating all the junk food. The secret to making the child eat is to make them choose the foods they like out of the options you give rather than forcing your own choice. This encourages them to eat healthily.

Just make sure that you follow the routine or timings to eat which is as important as the food. Don't make the mistake of forcing the kid to do a particular physical activity. Just let them be themselves, all you have to do is take them out to a playground. Though these tips will help, before trying anything always consult your pediatrician to know what is best for your child because each kid is unique and different.