How to maintain healthy eating habits in children?

The problem with obesity is that, if left unchecked, it can lead to diseases and problems for your baby in the future like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and even low self-confidence. Let us keep it in check with eating habits right from school age.

When it comes to nutrition, it is often a challenge for Indian parents how to balance their diet. Children tend to have tantrums when eating food, so feeding them healthy and home-cooked food can be very difficult. Also, the easy availability of junk food and sugary drinks increases the amount of calories and fat in your child's diet. So, it is no surprise that obesity has emerged as a major health concern among growing children. 

So, it is very important to measure your child's BMI or body fat. This is obtained by dividing the weight by the square of the height. And the body fat percentage can see the health of your child in comparison to children of the same age and gender. Therefore, if your child has a BMI of 85 percent or more, he is at risk of being overweight or obese. By instilling healthy eating habits in your child, encourage him to do physical activities and follow these tips:

  • Teach your kids about portion control and reduce the amount of junk food like burgers, fries, and pizza.
  • While making noodles, add more and more fresh vegetables to them so that it remains nutritious. Choose whole-wheat pasta instead of whole wheat pasta.
  • Make sure your child drinks enough water. This will keep them full and they will not demand fatty snacks high in sugar.
  • Instead of ice cream and chips, offer a fruit or vegetable as a snack. Yogurt with peanut butter or applesauce is also good choice.
  • Set aside at least one hour for the children to play. It is very important for physical and mental development.
  • If children get tired of doing the same thing, then teach them to dance, jump rope, etc.
  • Let them watch TV only for 30 to 60 minutes every day. Instead of watching TV all day, encourage your child to go outside and play.
  • Instead of losing weight, focus on good health. Inculcate healthy eating habits and encourage physical activities in children. By this, their weight will automatically return to normal.
  • Healthy eating habits and physical activities in children should be tried by the whole family because children learn by watching the people around them.
  • All family members should eat food together and avoid watching TV while eating so that the child can pay attention to the taste, flavor, color, and texture of the food.
  • Do not give children food or snacks while watching TV as this will make them overeat and may put on weight.
  • Do not completely forbid children from eating sugary or fatty food or else their desire will increase further. You can feed them such things from time to time. You can feed them all kinds of food in the right quantity.
  • Involve your child in preparing food and buying things for it. This will also let you know about their preferences and you will also be able to explain to them about nutrition.
  • Do not give them too much fruit juice as it is high in sugar and calories. Instead, you can feed them fresh fruits as this will give them fiber.
  • Ask them to eat the food comfortably and chew it so that their stomach is filled at the right time.
  • Understand the child's eating patterns to see if the child eats when he is bored, sad, or lonely. Tell them about it and also tell them about real hunger.
  • Do not use food as a gift or punishment. By doing this, the children will not be able to adopt the food properly.

Every child's body is different. So if you see them and think that they are overweight and you change their diet then it will not be healthy. Children should also not be fed an excessively low-weight diet as they are still growing, and restricting diet can affect their development. Always take the help of a health safety expert to check your baby's height and weight

Tags : #healthyfoods #healtheatinghabits #healthychildren #foodychildren #smitakumar #medicircle #myhealth

About the Author

Dr. Rati Parwani

Dr Rati Parwani is a Practising Professional BHMS Doctor having experience of 8 years in the medical field. Her approach towards each and every patient is the utmost professional with high standards of practice. She has nurtured her writing skills and proves it as an asset to her professionalism. She has experience in content writing and likes her writing ethical and scientific-based.

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