Parents Wrong On Estimating Child’s Healthy Weight
In a recently published Melbourne University research, 2 out of 5 parents of underweight or overweight children still believe their children is in the healthy weight range. Some other interesting findings:
- Children who are not in the average weight range, are also more likely to over or underestimate their body size
- A small number of parents believe their underweight children are overweight or that their overweight children are underweight.
- According to BMI, more children were classified as overweight, than compared to waist circumference.
The study has shown researchers that the way children’s weight and health classification is measured needs to be evaluated and changed. The study also aims to educate parents on what a healthy weight range should be for a particular child’s age and height. This would then signal to parents of overweight/underweight children to either boost a child’s nutritional intake or boost physical activity.
What you can do for your overweight child:
- Have your child’s evaluated by a physician specializing in pediatrics. They can best guide you in determining the proper weight range for your child.
- Decrease fat, greasy foods, cooked in transfat; decrease processed foods, sugary and salty snacks.
- Increase fruits, vegetables, and natural foods.
- Increase physical activity. Sign them up for karate, a group or individual sports, walk or ride a bike with them after school and on the weekends.
- Keep them out of the house doing sedentary activities like spending hours in front of the television or computer, or playing video games.
- Be a model of healthy eating and partake in physical activity yourself.
- Emphasize healthy eating, and physical activity, and not losing weight to your child.
What to do for your underweight child:
- Visit a pediatrician for an evaluation as well.
- Aside from the usual fruits and vegetables, for a very picky eater, pick a particular dish/treat that they like and pack it with calories. Examples include yogurt smoothies made with full fat yogurt and higher calorie fruits like bananas.
- Drizzle healthy olive oil in anything you can sneak into their stomachs.
- Don’t let them skip meals, and add plenty of snack times to the mix. Muffins or other calorie-packed snacks are a must, but balance them with fruits or vegetables snacks on alternate snack times or days.
- Don’t make meals unpleasant, but as relaxed and fun as possible. Eat as a family and focus on connecting as a family, instead of watching your child and counting each bite they take.
- Model healthy eating to your child.