How to deal with your overweight child?

 There is an increasing trend in childhood obesity all around the world. Obese children are at risk of developing sleep apnoea, low back pain, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and heart disease in the future. Evidence also showed that obese children have less self-confidence and are more prone to develop depression.

In order to keep your children healthy, parents must teach them how to make better food choices since they are young and encourage them to be physically active. If your child is overweight, the key to childhood weight problem is to “control” weight gain, but not weight loss. The proper way to help children controlling their weight is to maintain a slow rate of weight gain, and let height catch up to weight.

 

As parents, you can do the followings:

 

 1. GIVE HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES.

  • Serve whole-grains carbohydrate as the main component of a healthy diet.
  •  Choose lean meat, poultry with no skin, fish and tofu as protein source.
  • Encourage to eat more vegetables & fruits.
  • Have 1 -2 serves of skim or low fat milk products everyday.
  • Limit deep fried foods, sugary drinks & salty snacks.

 2. BE A GOOD EXAMPLE

Children like to mimic what their parents do, including their eating habits. So if you want your children to eat healthy, then you should too.



3. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO EAT BREAKFAST

Skipping breakfast can slow down children's metabolic rate, in turn leading to weight gain. On the other hand, eating breakfast can help to burn fat and avoid children from over-eating at lunchtime. Choose whole-grains such as oatmeal, unsweetened breakfast cereal, whole-wheat bread along with a serve of low fat milk or yoghurt.


4. LET YOUR CHILD CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF FOOD HE/SHE EATS

A child's body is naturally sensitive about satiety, and when to stop eating. Forcing children to clean up the plate can cause ignorance of the full feeling, and may lead to over-eat. So encourage your children to be aware of their internal hunger and fullness signals when eating.


5. CREATE A GOOD PLACE CHILDREN TO EAT

Keep TV, books and toys away from the eating area, as they will only distract children from controlling the amount of food they are stuffing into their body. Encourage children to focus on eating before performing other activities.

 

6. ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Physical activity is essential in weight maintenance for overweight children. To provide encouragement and support, parents should exercise together with their children. For instance, take walks together after dinner, jump ropes at home, and plan hiking trips or ball games during weekends.

Moreover, cooking a healthy meal together with your children can also teach them how to eat healthy; here is a recipe that you can try.

 

 Healthy Children Recipe

Baked Crispy Chicken Fingers (6 serves)
Ingredients    
1.5 lb
skinless boneless chicken
breast
 
½ cup
low fat margarine
1.5 teaspoons Lee Kum Kee Chicken Bouillon
Powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper  
3.5 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed  
Can choose Lee Kum Kee Sweet & Sour Sauce, Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, Plum Sauce, or Tomato Ketchup as dipping sauce.

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°C.
  2. Flat chicken breast with a meat pounder gently until 1/3 inch thick. Cut chicken lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Then, marinade with Lee Kum Kee Chicken Bouillon Powder.
  3. Stir together low fat margarine and pepper in a shallow dish. Put
    cornflakes in another shallow dish.
  4. Dip chicken strip into the margarine, then into cornflakes, press firmly to help flakes to adhere. Transfer to baking pan covered with baking sheets.
  5. Bake, turn chicken half way, and until golden and cooked through,
    about 15 minutes.
  6. Cool chicken in pans on racks to room temperature.
  7. Serve with one of the Lee Kum Kee Sweet & Sour Sauce, Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, Plum Sauce, or Tomato Ketchup.

 

 

Written By: Sylvia See Way Lam APD

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