There is a lot to be said for keeping your children the right weight for their height; their health and future health is in the hands of the parent or carer. A successful diet has to be approached with care and planning. A successful diet is not just one where weight loss will occur but is one where the child will learn to understand food, food groups, portion control and be able to listen to his or her body, creating good dietary habits for a healthy future.
feed our children when they are very young will impact on their whole
lives. A fat child is subject to bullying at school, to a boring
wardrobe of 'cover-me-alls', they come last in most sporting
activities and spend their whole life wondering why they are fat when
their best friend is not. their attitude to life can make a
difference to their happiness and mental health - it is all
connected. The responsibility for a successful diet that takes them
through to a healthy adulthood lies with the carer.
The body produces fat cells twice in our life - when we are weaned and when we go through puberty. The first is within the control of the parent and they bear full responsibility at this stage. Many children are weaned incorrectly; it has been reported that some carers and parents have actually weaned their children on liquidised fast food, such as chicken nuggets and chips. The excuses used are quite ridiculous; some are reported as saying that, 'We were having a McDonald's, the baby isn't on solid food so we can't leave him out, it's a treat.' Make no bones about it, liquidised happy meals for small babies is nothing short of abuse and about as far removed from a treat as you can get.
We are not suggesting that anyone puts their baby on a diet, but that they aim at this golden stage of development to achieve a successful diet, which will ultimately produce a slim and healthy adult. It is important that an education in nutrition for babies, or how to wean babies is not over looked or taught by a grandparent who might pass on bad habits.
There is plenty of help and articles on the internet that will steer you in the right direction and we will include information on this in Club Diet Plate which is a 9 week weight management course giving 12 months support on-line. For a successful dieting experience, Club Diet Plate will support and educate you for life, which is our aim with long term and behavioural change.
Unfortunately, we are now seeing Type 2 Diabetes reported in children as young as 7 years old. This is particularly disheartening, considering that this was once a disease that used to be called 'late on-set diabetes' as people over 40 were normally those affected. It most commonly occurs when a child goes through puberty, when they often start gaining weight and it can get out of control. At this age they will typically be hungrier than normal and snacking on sugary foods, or those high in carbohydrates is the usual culprit.
Growth spurts can cause strong feelings of hunger; but a healthy diet for a child at this time includes a further 500 calories a day beyond their normal amount. After the growth spurt is over, the RDA of calories is reduced to 2000 for a girl and 2,500 calories for a boy.
Many children at this time put on too much weight, which bodes ill for their adult health. Well meaning grandparents or friends who remark, 'It's just puppy fat,' are not doing you, or your child any favours. If you want to reduce their weight slowly, then look at the Magic Plate which is a healthy portion plate designed to give your child the correct nutritional balance of food and allow them to lose weight at a very safe level of 1/2lb to 1lb a week. There is no mention of the word diet on the Magic Plate; it will give a healthy balanced diet, the calorific values will be correct and the child can still eat all the foods they love but with increased vegetable and fruit intake.