It’s time to take action, if your child is overweight. There are simple steps you can take, to help your child move towards a healthy weight.
Your child’s weight matters, because it will affect their health now and in the future. It is more likely, overweight children to grow up into overweight adults, who face all the health risks, that carrying excess weight can bring.
If your child has other health conditions or if they are very overweight, it’s a time to ask for support. Your doctor can help.
It’s usually not necessary for overweight children to lose weight, because they are growing. Instead, it is usually better that the child keeps their current weight while they continue to grow in height. This will depend on how old your child is and how overweight they are as well as other factors.
If you’re unsure about this or other issues, ask for advice from health professionals at Family Kickstart Georgia (FKSG).
Change as a family
A plenty of physical activity and balanced, healthy diet will lead to a healthy weight for your child.
Making changes to your family’s lifestyle can make a real difference to your child’s weight. When the whole family joins in, these changes are easiest and work best.
Great first steps towards healthier diet are regular meals, eaten together and without distractions, such as TV. Cooking yourself rather than relying on ready-made meals can help you to lower the sugar and fat content in your meals.
If your family eats snacks that are high in sugar or fat, such as sweets, biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks, aim to replace these with healthier alternatives such as fruit.
Aim to reduce the amount of time your child spends on inactive hobbies, such as playing electronic indoor games or watching television.
Current recommendations for ‘screen time’ are:
- Children under 2 years of age should not spend any time using electronic media like DVD, computer, tablet, smartphone and other electronic games or watching television.
- For Children 2 to 5 years of age, watching television, sitting and the use of other electronic media should be limited to less than 1 hour per day.
- All children birth to 5 years, infants, toddlers and preschoolers should not be kept inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, with the exception of sleeping.
If you feel the changes you’ve made don’t seem to be helping or uncertain about helping your child to achieve a healthy weight, then seek support at FKSG and provide further advice on lifestyle changes.