At Foodfacts.com we like to present you with the latest news and research revolving around foods, ingredients, and healthy eating. Because many of our followers are parents, we like to present you with information regarding parenting and child nutrition.
We must share that there was a recent opinion piece from the July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association arguing that parents should lose custody of their obese children. Author, Dr. David Ludwig an obesity specialist at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, believes that although parents should not be blamed for their children’s weight status, the children should be placed in a situation where they are able to receive appropriate attention and assistance to maintain a healthy weight.
This article has received a huge amount of feedback in the past few days in regards to such a drastic step in removing children from their home. Although many parents do believe that parents should carry some responsibility for a child’s weight status, they also argue that Dr. Ludwig’s suggestion of taking away the child is wildly unnecessary and unethical.
We know that there are millions of children currently considered overweight or obese. We also know that parents may lack the knowledge or resources to help their children. Here are some tips that may help get your child back on the right track.
Keeping your children in shape:
1. Consult with a doctor and/or registered dietitian. If your child is overweight it’s important to regularly see a physician to make sure they are not at risk for any associated conditions, such as diabetes. Diabetes in the US is steadily increasing, which can cause other related complications such as heart disease, sleep apnea, and hypertension.
Also, see a registered dietitian to have a menu plan created for your child. An RD will be able to provide nutrition counseling and develop a plan over time that will help your child lose and maintain a healthy weight.
2. Play outside. With video games and TV programs plaguing modern society, people are more confined to sitting on their couches rather than getting outside. Set aside an hour or two every day to arrange outdoor activities for the family. Bike riding, going to the park, water activities, and gentle hiking are just of few of many activities you can plan for your family. If not every day, try to designate 3 days out of the week where you can play outside, and ignore the technology indoors.
3. Fruits and vegetables. Consuming more fruits and vegetables are a great start to eating healthy. For children, try consuming 2 servings of fruit, and 3 servings of vegetables a day. It can be easy to incorporate these servings into your diet. Try adding banana to cereals, blueberries in smoothies, peppers and onions in an omelet, etc. The options are endless, and definitely rewarding.
4. Calcium-rich foods. Fat-free and low-fat milks are a great source of added calcium to the diet, but they aren’t the only choices. You can also do low-fat yogurts with no added sugars to help your children get the calcium they need, and to also fix a sweet tooth.
5. Healthy snacks. You may want to consider stepping away from cheesy nacho chips, sugary fruit snacks, and salty processed foods. These snacks fix cravings, but further damage your health and weight-loss goals. Instead, try snacking on plain popcorn, celery with peanut butter, or even vegetable hummus with crackers.