All the children attending out after school will be weighted and their height will be measured. A recent study which involved 500 children, almost 99% of the parents found this useful. We use this tool as a weigh in helping a over weight and/or obese children achieve a healthy weight and helping others maintain one. However we do not recommend parents weight their children at home for various reasons.
One in four children at the age of three are either overweight or obese,” says Dr Foley Nolan. “10% of eight year olds are showing signs of high blood pressure, a pathology is starting to happen.’
Fighting obesity and teaching children about making healthy food choices starts at home. It doesn’t start on a set of weighing scales. It starts with the shopping list. It starts inside the fridge and the press.. It starts from a very young age, getting children into good habits as young as they are taken off that bottle.
Top tips for avoiding junk food:
- Stop buying junk. Avoid the sweets, biscuits, crisps and drinks aisles… Just don’t buy the stuff.
- Check the labels on products. 4.2grams of sugar equates to a teaspoon sugar. For example one can of coke has 44grams of sugar which is 11 teaspoon of sugar. 15 calories = 1 teaspoon of sugar.
- Don’t be pressurised by the kids. Explain what you’re doing and get them on your side.
- Plan what you’re going to cook a week in advance. Think ahead so you’re not relying on ready meals at the last minute.
- Make a salad with every single meal. Hand this job over to the kids — they’ll love deciding what goes in and they’ll enjoy the chopping.
- Teach your child how to make smoothies. Experiment with combinations and colours and it’s a great way to get the veg in.
- Look at your weekly dinners. Are you having too much meat? Replace some meals with vegetarian or vegan options.
- Talk to your child about looking after their body, keeping it strong and healthy and choosing foods that work like ‘fuel’ for good energy.
- Eat meals at the table rather than on the sofa or in front of the TV and eat slowly.
- Use the money you’ve saved on junk food and reward the kids with an outing — but bring your own healthy snacks.
According to research on Sugar intake:
- Each adult male should not consume over 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar.
- An adult female should maintain her total sugar intake under 20 grams (that corresponds to 5- 6 teaspoons of sugar.
- Likewise, children are also advised to decrease the intake of sugar and it is the responsibility of parents to watch the sugar intake of kids that should not exceed 3 teaspoons of sugar per day (or 12 grams)
But you don’t have to resort to living like Tom Hanks in Castaway, there are plenty of foods that you can turn to that taste amazing and won’t jeopardise your kids well-being. It’s about learning why certain foods are bad, so you can make better choices on a day-to-day basis. The first thing you can start with is sugar!
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