Don't wait to achieve healthy weight!

by NDFAuthors

  • Oct 03, 2014

Children who maintain a healthy weight are often more fit, healthy, self-confident and less likely to have health problems as they get older.

We all know that everybody is different, but it’s also important to remember that every body is different. People come in all shapes and sizes and healthy weight varies from person to person. The same goes for children. Children who maintain a healthy weight are often more fit, healthy, self-confident and less likely to have health problems as they get older.

Calculating BMI

BMI (body mass index) is the best way to see if you and your child are at healthy weight for your height and age. To calculate, use one of these great tools online for  adults  [1] and  children.[2] The range you fall under will also tell you if you are in a risk of serious health problems, such are type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. For adults:

  • BMI below 18.5 means you may be underweight
  • BMI between 18.5-24.9 is a healthy range, meaning you’re at a healthy weight for your height
  • BMI of 25 or more means you may be overweight
  • BMI of 30 or more is classified as obesity and puts you at risk of health problems

BMI centile is used for children older than 2 years and there are various interpretations of the results. When calculating, doctors typically take into consideration age and gender in order to see if a child is at a healthy weight. It is important to note that, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, healthy BMI range varies depending on the ethnicity as well. Therefore, it is best to consult your doctor when calculating your own and your child’s BMI. girl-stretching

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight

Whether your child is overweight or at a healthy weight according to BMI, you still need to make an effort together in order to stay healthy. Here are the five best ways to help your children maintain a healthy weight:[3] girl-running

  • Encourage exercising: According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, children need at least 60 minutes of exercise each day [4], though not necessarily all at once – to achieve a greater effect, make sure to spread out your child’s activities throughout the day. Activities can include playing ball, riding a bike, walking a dog or playing sports.
  • Mind the portion sizes: To avoid overfeeding your child, start with small portions. Children will ask for more if they are still hungry. And if they are full, don’t force them to finish everything on their plates. Eat as a family and enjoy this time together. Having a conversation about your day over dinner will also encourage children to eat slowly.
  • Stick to a healthy eating regime: Children should eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day in order to get the proper amount of vitamins and minerals. This can be easily achieved by having cereals with fruit for breakfast, vegetables as an addition to the main course for lunch, a smoothie as a snack, and salad for dinner. It’s important to avert your children from eating high-fat and sugary things like sodas, desserts and candy.
  • Promote less screen time and more sleep: Watching television and playing video games means being stationary. Being active is always a better option for children and will also increase the quality of sleep at night. Lack of sleep causes children to be sulky and lowers their focus in school.
  • Be a good role model: Children pick up eating habits from the people around them. Make the right eating decisions in your own life to set a good example.

boy-swimming-with-dad The easiest way to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyle is by working towards it together. Work as a family to make the right eating habits and reach healthy weight.