Overweight children are becoming more and more common, not only for aesthetics and well-being, but also for health. The only way to get rid of it is to eat healthy and sensible food. It is necessary to convince the child that a healthy diet and exercise will help him grow up lean and fit.
Causes of overweight in children
Genetic factors also play a role here. They regulate metabolism, as well as the accumulation and distribution of adipose tissue in the body. However, this does not necessarily lead to the development of obesity. Proper nutrition and physical activity in most cases can prevent this disease.
The main reason is malnutrition from an early age. Processed fast food, an excess of sweets, a lack of vegetables, fruits or whole grains are a simple path to overweight and obesity.
Note! An overweight child can easily become an obese adult. He can be helped to lose weight without much sacrifice on his part. It is enough to “remove” 500 kilocalories per day from the diet so that in a week he will lose a pound of fat in the body, and this is exactly as much as recommended in the guidelines for children’s weight loss.
Principles of healthy eating
Treating overweight in children is not easy. This is a complex process that requires an appropriate approach: carefully monitor and control what children eat.
Large children should eat five times a day every three hours. Food should be served at a certain time, on small plates, and taught to eat slowly. Do not give too much protein food (dairy products, meat and sausages) and sugar, avoid artificial foods, such as powdered sauces. A healthy diet should contain all the nutrients the body needs in the right proportions.
Teaching a child to eat vegetables, fruits and natural yoghurts is the basis of a proper diet. These low-calorie foods, raw or steamed or in a little water, contain vitamins, minerals, metabolic-supporting fiber, and other valuable ingredients. They can be eaten up to five times a day. Fruits are higher in calories than vegetables, so they should be eaten in smaller amounts.
Whole grain products are a source of complex carbohydrates that satisfy hunger for a long time and provide energy necessary for the functioning of the body. They are also rich in B vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Dairy products are the basis of well-absorbed calcium, which is necessary for the formation of healthy bones and teeth. They also contain other minerals, vitamins and complete protein. Fruit yoghurts, vanilla or chocolate curds should be avoided because they contain too much sugar.
The best sources of protein are:
- lean meat;
- bean seeds.
Meat also provides highly absorbable iron. In addition to protein, fish contains valuable omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and numerous minerals. Eat them at least twice a week. Sea fish is especially recommended.
Several times a week, a child can eat eggs, which, in addition to protein, contain vitamins and minerals. If he does not eat meat, legumes should often be included in his menu. They are a good source of complete protein.
Fat is needed by the body only in small amounts. Therefore, it is worth switching to foods containing less fat. It is also good to avoid fatty meats. Instead of frying, it is better to bake it in foil or steam it. Nutritionists are also calling for the replacement of animal fats with healthier vegetable oils.
You should limit sweets, give up sugary drinks, which are often very high in calories. It is worth reducing the consumption of juices. Even unsweetened, they contain a lot of calories and can lead to obesity. Fruit juices, even those made specifically for children, are very high in sugar. Water does not contain extra calories and perfectly quenches thirst. Tea and other homemade drinks should not be sweetened.
Diet for overweight children
The diet of a child, regardless of whether he is overweight or not, should be varied and rich in all nutrients. A healthy diet for a child is to replace too much protein and sugar with fruits and vegetables.
In the morning, you should have breakfast within an hour after waking up. The body after a night break needs a new supply of energy. Eating in the morning speeds up the metabolism, which is slower at night. You can give your child oatmeal with a small amount of nuts and fruits. They will satisfy your hunger for the next few hours. If you add a pinch of cinnamon or ginger, you will additionally force the body to use more energy and burn fat.
For kids who used to take sandwiches to school or money for sweet buns, start making whole grain toast or snacks, replacing sausage with pieces of meat, cheese with cottage cheese. Each meal should include at least two handfuls of vegetables. The fiber they contain slows down digestion, which makes you feel full for a longer time.
In addition, vegetables are mainly water, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body. In the diet you can enter:
- white and red cabbage;
You should use frozen vegetables. Fruits are a vitamin bomb, but they contain a lot of sugar. Remove sweet carbonated drinks and fruit nectars from the child’s diet.
At noon, soups are cooked in vegetable broth, not meat. They will have much fewer calories. When preparing the second course, refrain from white rice, white flour noodles, fatty meat, sauces thickened with flour. If you need to thicken the dish, add an egg or a little ground flaxseed. Replace fried foods with boiled, grilled and baked. Simple carbohydrates increase adipose tissue, especially around the abdomen. They are quickly digested, and the child will quickly get hungry, and from here it is only a step to a fatal snack.
Additional Information! Eating too much sweets contributes to overweight in people of all ages. A small can of cola contains nine teaspoons of sugar. To satisfy your child’s hunger for sweets, you can give him a piece of chocolate once a day or two or three sweets after dinner. Then the body slowly turns simple carbohydrates into excess fat.
Diet bans are not the best path to success. Whoever completely refuses their favorite food, sooner or later will eat more than the norm. You can deceive your appetite for sweets by eating sweet vegetables, those that can be eaten raw (carrots). Dinner should be light. A good choice, for example, milk porridge, a bowl of cottage cheese, puree soup. Chamomile or nettle tea with honey will also strengthen the immune system.
Increase physical activity
In addition to excess calorie intake, an important factor leading to obesity is lack of exercise. Physical activity is very important for the prevention of overweight – an important step for a teenager to gain the right weight.
Important! Social life has largely moved online. As a result, many children spend their time almost never getting up from their armchair or sofa, sitting in front of a TV, computer or tablet. With increasing body weight, these problems intensify, and the child often ceases to be physically active at all.
Every physical effort speeds up calorie burning, but the biggest killer of them all is aerobic exercise, which uses a lot of muscles at the same time:
- a ride on the bicycle;
- team games.
All of these activities are a great way to burn calories. An hour a day is the absolute minimum. It is also worth remembering not to set the bar too high. Experts advise in the fight against excess weight in a child to introduce a healthy diet for the whole family. Children take their cue from adults. Proper nutrition and physical activity should bring results. If this is not the case, you should consult a doctor. The specialist will find the cause of the abnormal weight.