SEVEN TIPS TO HELP YOUR KID LOSE WEIGHT
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.