Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

them, such as tak­ing stairs in­stead of a lift or walk­ing in­stead of driv­ing.

En­cour­age chil­dren to eat home-cooked food and, as far as pos­si­ble, cut down on mid-meal snack­ing un­less it’s fresh fruit, milk, unsweet­ened yo­ghurt (curd) or sprouts. Eat whole foods — fruits, veg­eta­bles, nuts, legumes and whole grains — of­ten, as they are low in calo­ries and loaded in pro­tein, fibre, min­er­als and vi­ta­mins.

Of­fer fresh foods. Avoid pack­aged snacks.

Even low-fat ‘baked not fried’ snacks con­tain un­healthy fats and are low in fat, salt and sugar only rel­a­tively to the orig­i­nal calo­rie-dense prod­ucts. Low-fat chips, for ex­am­ple, have fewer calo­ries than reg­u­lar chips but it is still a lot of calo­ries.

One serv­ing of chips (10 pieces) has about 150 calo­ries, ‘light’ and ‘re­duced’ chips have 75 to 100. You would need to walk 2 km to burn 75 calo­ries!

Make drink­ing wa­ter a habit.

Thirst is of­ten mis­taken for hunger, so chil­dren may end up eat­ing when they are just thirsty. In­stead of juices, co­las and sweet­ened shakes, chil­dren must get into the habit of drink­ing wa­ter to stay hy­drated

Even juices with no added sugar are high in calo­ries, from the nat­u­ral sugars found in fruit. An unsweet­ened glass of juice has at least dou­ble the calo­ries one would get from the whole fruit, which also comes with di­etary fibre that keeps hunger pangs away by mak­ing you feel full.

Chil­dren aim­ing to lose weight must cut back on junk food and sug­ary treats such as ice-cream, but they should not be com­pletely de­prived be­cause that could lead to crav­ings.

Cut back on por­tion sizes and al­low your child to have his or her favourite treat once a week or twice as a re­ward for stick­ing to a healthy meal plan.

Don’t stop desserts. Lead by ex­am­ple.

Food habits form at home, so the whole fam­ily must adopt healthy eat­ing habits and be­come more ac­tive to help chil­dren lose weight.

You can’t ex­pect your child to chew on car­rots while play­ing soc­cer if you spend all of Sun­day eat­ing fried chicken while watch­ing the Pre­mier League.

Chil­dren must learn to eat when they’re hun­gry and not just be­cause there’s food around. Re­place junk food at home with healthy snacks — nuts, seeds, trail mix and fruit — to pre­vent crav­ings.

Stop snack­ing and din­ing in front of a lap­top or TV set, be­cause mind­less eat­ing usu­ally re­sults in overeat­ing.

Los­ing weight is most ef­fec­tive when it’s a group ef­fort. The big plus is that ev­ery­one gets health­ier while help­ing ju­nior get fit.


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