Healthy eating and exercise
Ensuring your child has a varied diet is important to aid good growth and development. Each day, try to ensure your child eats some food from the four main food groups. For example:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Pastas and other starchy carbohydrates
- Dairy or dairy alternatives and beans
- Meat and other proteins.
If a child is overweight, this can lead to health problems in the future.
Children and young people who are overweight or obese have an 80% chance of being obese in adulthood. It’s so important that we provide children with the best and healthiest opportunities to start their adult life.
A combination of diet and exercise is the best way to lose weight but the dietary intake is the most important. The Change4Life and Eat Well guide websites are packed with information and ideas to help with weight loss and encourage exercise. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either, you can go your local park, encourage after school activities within school, also visit your local health centre and they offer exercise classes for children at a small price
Limit foods and drinks which are high in saturated fats or sugar as this increase your childs risk of obesity and tooth decay. It is recommended now that your child should eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables in a day. See the eat well plate: The Eatwell Guide
At the heart of these changes, keep to a good routine, positive reinforcement, set boundaries and goals. Words such as ‘diet’ or ‘obese’ are not needed to make these changes, opt for ‘healthier choices’ or ‘lifestyle changes’. Making these changes are an active choice towards a healthier life.
However children can be active and it can be hard to encourage a varied diet, here is some key points
- Try to ensure you all eat as a family
- Allow children to watch your prepare the food and talk them through it
- Give small portions and praise your child
- Your child may be a slow eater, so be patient.
- Don’t give your child too many snacks between meals – two healthy snacks a day is plenty.
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