Obesity in children: How to maintain your baby at a healthy weight?
Obesity in children: How to maintain your baby at a healthy weight?
One of the most alarming health conditions that become a matter of concern in children is “Obesity”. Yes, you heard it right. When I say it’s an alarming condition, I mean it since it’s backed by various clinical studies & research materials that date back to over many decades.
Obesity in children is rampant and has been proved to have a pronounced impact on physical, emotional, and social well-being including self-esteem and academic performances. It gradually leads to a poor quality of life. The developed countries are already at their peak levels, the developing countries aren’t spared either. After China, India ranks second highest in the count of Obese Children. Its current prevalence is around 15% with a prediction of approximately 17 million children getting affected in the next 3-5 years.
One would think that the commonest cause has to do with over nutrition. Although the nutritional patterns have undergone massive transition there are other tangible factors like lifestyle, environmental and cultural status, binge eating habits, excessive intake of fats, sugars, and high-calorie food items, portion size exceeding the body requirement, and compromised physical activity. So, now one question that immediately comes to your mind is, how does it affect a child’s health? To get you to understand it better, first, let me explain its definition. Clinically Obesity is defined as the child having his/her body weight more than the limit set for that particular age and height. There could be other factors like high muscle mass, and dense bone structure that needs to be ruled out whilst diagnosing. It is very important to ascertain the obesity in your child as various disorders of the heart, lungs, liver, bones, kidneys, nervous and endocrine system have a direct link with childhood obesity.
Already getting Goosebumps? Well, Calm down Mommy and Daddy, there is no need to panic. Just scroll down further as Mommypure unfolds this topic to help you identify Obesity and illustrate certain trait and lifestyle patterns that can be valuable to help you parents understand if your child is obese or under its risk. Besides we have also presented some measures to deal with this issue in either cases.
There is a normal tendency to refuse any additional morsel of food once their tummy is full as infants. With the current lifestyle, nuclear family parenting, lack of proper guidance, exposure to screen time, luring ads on mobile, social media sites, etc. there is no control over the choice of a food item, its preparation, and the portion of consumption. The food lacks nutrition and over and above it is extremely high in sugar, fat, and calorie content.
Poor Physical activity
There is a gross imbalance in the energy spent and food consumed. Screen time involvement of mobile, television, gaming, and social media leaves no room for physical activities. This doesn’t require any calorie burning and it’s an ideal time for kids to fulfill their craving for junk foods. Fun time with snacking, which kid won’t like it? But the bitter truth is that it adds extra fat baggage- an invitation to the unwanted health issues later! The more the kid is glued to the screen, the increased is the chance of exposure to the attractive advertisement of food. Too bad! Isn’t it?
Social Cultural environment
There are certain circumstances like working parents, kids left with nannies, lots of partying, dining out, family functions, easy food home delivery, travels, etc. that lead to consumption of high calorie, fatty, and sugary food items. The poor eating habits and trend of fast food by friends/near & dear ones can also influence kids in making unhealthy choices. These repeated choices eventually become habits that get noticed only when some health issue arises.
There are certain medications like steroids, anti-epileptic drugs, hormonal therapy that increase the appetite and creates the additional weight gain.
Lack of attention, fussy eating habits, kids denying to eat healthy food, and parents offering their favorite in their attempt to prevent starving, food gift hampers, etc. it could be anything that affects the psychology/mental health of a child and makes them prey to unhealthy food.
So, how to tackle these issues? Well, it cannot be changed overnight. However challenging it may sound, it isn’t impossible at the same time. So join with Mommy pure to find a way out…
- Incorporate good eating habits
First important thing in good habits is eating on time. Regular schedule develops a daily routine in the subconscious mind. Have green veggies, various seasonal fruits, fibre rich grains, etc. in the list of menu. Family meals is highly recommended
- Paying attention to the nutritional value of the food items served
For this, ensure home cooked and warm food that meets all the body requirements of good fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and essential elements. This will ensure that your kid’s body is replenished well. Play with the colours of nature. It has plenty to offer to your kids like oranges, spinach, carrots, beans, pumpkin, brinjal, lemon, banana, papaya, wheat, legumes, etc.
- Junk food, snacks, sugary, aerated, fatty & fried items should be gradually replaced with healthy options
All efforts has to be made to cut down and prevent the deep fried food, salty chips and snack items, frizzy, canned & soft drinks, high sugary beverages, bakery goods and desserts. Try out some home-made pizzas, spaghetti, cakes, crumbles, lasagne and pasta that has a good serving of greens and veggies plus has an organic and unrefined items in their making list. Whole grain bread and cereals that are sweetened with natural sugars can be a good option. Replace aerated drinks with water
- Outdoor trips and family get together are good but pay attention to the food selection and the portion size
Carry your food stuffs with you if possible. There are plenty options to fit your barbeque / tandoor grills. And if you really wish to avoid cooking & have hassle free holidays then choose the place that has healthy items in the menu or can readily offer you customized meal plans
- Let your kids binge on healthy snacks like roasted nuts, seasonal veggie and fruit salads, millet snacks, etc.
Next when you go for grocery shopping, take your kids. Introduce to them, the nuts, roasted snacks, fresh greens and fruits sections. Let them choose. These days there are abundant varieties of breakfast cereals and roasted snacks. Furthermore, they have healthy & organic natural salt and sugars. At times, encourage your kids to choose their own fruits for the salads
- Replaced refined products with organic and natural products like jaggery, cold-pressed oils, unpolished rice, lentils, pulses, etc.
From wide range of honey to various jaggery, unadulterated and healthy fats enriched oils, fibre dense pulses, grains and lentils, there are profuse food items in the nature to give you good taste and nutrition as well. Market has plenty to provide you, just grab it!
- Include fiber-rich food, more greens and fresh fruits
These are packed with macro and micro nutrients, essential element and vitamins besides proteins, healthy carbs and fibres
- Avoid canned and packaged food or snacks
Sugars, salts and unwanted calories is what these mess can offer! So why waste your money and time to get the bad energy in return
- Involve your kid in recreational activities, sports, nature adventure trips and promote an adequate level of physical activity
These recreational activities will endure your kids with good physical stamina and improve their muscle cum bone strength. Additionally, it will enhance their self-confidence along with developing their sportsmanship skills in future, as adults
- Include your kids in your daily errands to keep them active and cut down on screen time
Going for grocery shopping or a short trip to the market? Take your kids along. A few light bags for them to carry can be fun & frolic at times
- Be strict and disciplined on the screen time
Long-time screen exposure can lead to eye strain and physical fatigue. Also, it can cause poor eating and inactive lifestyle. Let the screen time be on timely basis and well maintained
- Never ignore their health issue. Always seek expert medical advice
Do not judge your kid’s physical fitness. Let the experts do it. As kids grow, they tend to spend more time at schools, sports, hobbies and with friends. Hence, they may not eat on time, stay dehydrated or complain of some aches or discomfort. Remember, poor weather conditions and unfit clothing can affect their health. Get any health issue attended on time, then be it minor
- Create a happy home environment
A happy and healthy home environment brings a sense of togetherness and inculcates good values in your kid’s life. Life has its own ups and down. Handling tough situations efficiently and in a well-mannered approach will sure make your kids better personalities. And the happy times can surely do one best thing- Bring in the Closeness.
The most crucial approach in this area of parenting is to first set a good example of yourself. The best role model for any kids is their Mom &/or Dad. It takes a lot from you parents, to raise your child and we Mommypure acknowledge every bit of it. Just set things on the right track in your nurturing patterns. Allow your child to grow healthy, both physically + mentally, and help them evolve as fit individuals to face the world efficiently in their adulthood. So come let’s handle this condition together. Earth is a beautiful place to live on. Let’s make our kids healthy and strong enough to enjoy this beauty and live a Blissful life.