Keeping Your Kids At A Healthy Weight
Why is it good for kids to stay at a healthy weight?
If you are not too thin or too fat, you are at a healthy weight. Sometimes, a child’s doctor might say a few pounds should be lost, or your child shouldn’t gain any more weight. This is very common amongst children who are overweight or have diabetes.
You will find that you feel better and your blood pressure and glucose levels will improve when you take certain steps to manage your weight. When you are young, if you can manage your weight, it will help you do it throughout the rest of your life. It can also help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
How can you get to a healthy weight?
You should eat less calories and be active everyday if your doctor informs you to love some weight. Some ways to succeed:
1. Be active every day for about sixty minutes to get fit and burn extra calories. Go for a bike ride or play tag rather than playing on the internet or with video games. Instead of watching TV, ask a family member or a friend to go on a walk with you.
2. Cut some calories. The amount of calories in food shows the amount of energy you get from it. In order to lose weight, you should eat approximately 200 to 300 less calories each day.
Simple ways to cut calories are:
· Instead of drinking a soda or juice, drink a large glass of water. This cuts around 150 calories!
· Instead of eating a large serving of French fries, eat a serving that is smaller to cut about 250 calories!
· Instead of eating a candy bar, eat some fruit to cut around 200 calories!
3. Eat smaller portions of food and at snack time and meals, drink water.
4. Drink a lot of water. Water is calorie-free! Also, sugar free soda or sugar free fruit drinks are also good ideas to quench your thirst.
5. Find a good dietitian. A dietitian will help you and your family make good choices for meals.
You have the potential to lose about a pound or two a month if you stay active and eat less. Since you are still growing, you should lose weight steady and slow.
For growing teenagers and children, an extremely low-calorie diet is not healthy. Kids may not develop or grow the right way if they do not eat enough.
What kind of healthy eating tips can you try?
1. Eat slower. Instead of eating a second helping right away, wait about 10 to 15 minutes because it takes about that long for your stomach to tell you it is full!
2. Ask if you can help shop, plan or make family meals occasionally. This can be a nice family fun activity!
3. Fill your plate half full with vegetables or salads. Use a scarce amount of margarine, butter or salad dressing.
4. Don’t eat sweets, desserts, candy or sugary foods very often and when you do, eat a very small serving.
What about breakfast?
A piece of fruit, a bowl of whole grain cereal and a glass of low-fat milk is a great way to start the day and do better in school!
Try eating a couple slices of whole grain toast with some peanut butter, or a hard-boiled egg if you are cut for time in the mornings before school.
A glass of nonfat or low-fat milk and a breakfast bar is also a great way to start the day and is a quick meal.
What about school lunches?
If you eat the school’s lunches, choose foods that are not fried when possible. Choose low-fat or nonfat milk instead of chocolate milk. Instead of a cookie, choose fruit.
If your school has a salad bar, choose fruits and vegetables high in fiber and protein foods that are low-fat. For the dressing, choose one that is low calorie.
Sub sandwiches or small deli sandwiches made with low-fat beef or turkey are good choices, too. Use a low-fat mayonnaise or mustard.
If you are able to, pack a healthy lunch instead of eating the school’s lunches.
What about after school snacks?
Most kids need a snack after school. Choose healthy snacks and instead of eating out of the box or bag, use a small bowl or plate so you can keep track of how much you eat. You shouldn’t snack in front of the computer or TV because you may eat too much.
What about fast-food restaurants?
Unless you plan on sharing your meal with your family, do not supersize it. Order child-sized meals with a water to drink or a low-fat milk.
A hamburger or a grilled chicken sandwich is better than a burger with cheese and bacon or a secret sauce. A baked potato with a small amount of sour cream and butter is also a good choice.
Instead of a stuffed-crust or deep dish pizza, order thin crust if you are eating pizza. Eat only one or two slices of pizza with a side salad and a small amount of dressing.
Instead of regular chips, try a handful of chips that are baked.
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