How do we keep our child at a healthy weight?
DevelopmentNutrition
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How do we keep our child at a healthy weight?

Polish children are getting fatter, alarm specialists. Why are our children getting fat? Unfortunately the reason is the lack of exercise and improper nutrition of our children.

Rapid weight gain of Polish children

Unfortunately parents are mainly to blame for the excessive body weight of children. It results from their improper nutrition. Polish parents are very keen on buying sweet and salty snacks – as much as PLN 11.3 billion was spent on them in 2018. Another culprit of obesity in Polish children is their activity in cyberspace. Instead of going out with their peers in the backyard, children prefer to play games and “hang out” with friends online. Other causes of weight gain include:

  • highly processed foods,
  • lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet,
  • lack of physical activity.
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What are the effects of overweight and obesity in children?

TV shows are increasingly talking about accepting one’s body. However, being overweight and obese has devastating effects on health. The most common effects include:

  • too much strain on joints and bones,
  • the possibility of overweight and obesity in adulthood,
  • nocturnal apnea,
  • memory and concentration problems,
  • risk of high blood pressure in adulthood,
  • increased blood cholesterol levels in the future,
  • increased risk of asthma and type 2 diabetes.

Being overweight is not “just” excess body fat, but a whole set of problems that can shorten a child’s life in the future. Unfortunately, fat children are perceived by their peers as lazy and slow.

Check whether being overweight is a problem for your child

If you want to find out if your child is overweight, calculate his BMI. Then put the result on the percentile grid, taking into account gender and age.

If your child is slightly overweight, you absolutely must change his/her eating habits and encourage more physical activity. If your child is overweight, you should consult a doctor and develop a full weight loss plan.

How can you influence your child’s weight?

The weight and thus the well-being of the child depend on the parent. There are a few rules to follow:

  • do not agree to eat sweets every day,
  • give your child fruit and vegetables every day,
  • encourage the child to learn about new foods,
  • change snacks to healthy ones,
  • do not allow your child to overeat at night,
  • serve small portions,
  • encourage physical activity.

How does a second breakfast affect weight?

Many children forget to eat a second breakfast, this is a very big mistake. This meal is a great way to replenish energy and nutrients while giving a sense of satiety. This prevents your child from snacking between meals

Preparing a sandwich for the second breakfast gives the parent certainty that the child will eat a complete meal, instead of highly processed food, which eaten for a long time, has a negative impact on the child’s body.

What is healthy nutrition for children?

The principles of healthy nutrition for children differ very little from those of adults. Adherence to the decalogue of proper nutrition is important for every human being. In the case of a child it is additionally an “investment” in a healthy future, i.e. proper physical and mental development, as well as shaping nutritional habits for life.

10 rules of healthy eating for children:

1. Eating 5 regular meals a day.

2. Drinking adequate amounts of water.

3. Eating fruits and vegetables at every meal.

4. Eating whole grain cereal products.

5. Drinking at least 4 glasses of milk.

6. Eat only lean meat, fish and eggs.

7. No sweetened beverages at all.

8. No sweets at all.

9. Exercise at least one hour a day.

10. Getting enough sleep.

Regular physical activity and keeping sweets to a minimum will help your child maintain a healthy weight.

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