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My 10 yr old is overweight; can I start him on a diet from now?

A. A strict weight loss diet? NO! Because this can affect your child’s growth! Being careful with the type of food he eats? YES! What’s important in your child’s case is to balance his food intake in a way for him to grow in height while maintaining the same weight and this way he will be balancing out his weight to height ratio over time.

Here are a few nutrition and lifestyle tips to get your child on track for a healthy weight

  • Encourage your child to eat right: Cut down on unhealthy snacks and foods that have lots of calories, fat and sugar, such as chips, ice cream, cakes, fast food and sweetened juices. These are full of calories and low in nutrients! Your child needs to get his calories and nutrients for a healthy growth from the following essential food groups – milk and dairy, breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, and meats and legumes.
  • Don’t get your child used to big portions: serve him regular portions and if he’s still hungry, you can add a little more. And don’t force him to continue his plate, instead let him recognize his feeling of fullness and stop when he’s had enough.
  • Be a good role model, eat healthy in front of him.
  • Get moving: Incorporate physical activity into your child’s everyday life. For example,go together for a walk in the park and encourage use of the stairs, whenever possible,instead of using the elevator. You can also support you child in taking up one or more sports. Exercise helps convert excess calories to energy and prevents them from accumulating as fat in the body.

  • Go out: Limit TV time or sitting in front of the computer to no more than two hours a day; spend more family time in activities such as swimming and playing fun games.
  • Consult an expert: Consult a dietician to know more about healthy eating.

Use the Wellness Indicator tool to guide you to reach your healthy weight!

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