How to stop making your children fat and chubby

How to stop making your children fat and chubby

It is very nice to see children fat and chubby. But Is this healthy? Not at all. If children are not losing their puppy fat, that means they are getting fatter. Allowing children to get fatter can make them prone to diseases such as diabetes, cardiac diseases and obesity which can be carried into adulthood.


There are many factors that contribute to causing child and adolescent obesity – some are modifiable and others are not.

Modifiable causes include:

  • Physical Activity – Lack of regular exercise.
  • Sedentary behavior – High frequency of television viewing, computer usage, and similar behavior that takes up time that can be used for physical activity.
  • Socioeconomic Status – Low family incomes and non-working parents.
  • Eating Habits – Over-consumption of high-calorie foods. Some eating patterns that have been associated with this behavior are eating when not hungry, eating while watching TV or doing homework.
  • Environment – Some factors are over-exposure to advertising of foods that promote high-calorie foods and lack of recreational facilities.

Non-changeable causes include:
Genetics – Greater risk of obesity has been found in children of obese and overweight parents.

Now how can you tackle this…

Create an Active Environment:

  • Make time for the entire family to participate in regular physical activities that everyone enjoys. Try walking, bicycling or rollerblading.
  • Plan special active family-outings such as a hiking or ski trip.
  • Start an active neighborhood program. Join together with other families for group activities like touch-football, basketball, tag or hide-and-seek.
  • Assign active chores to every family member such as vacuuming, washing the car or mowing the lawn.
  • Rotate the schedule of chores to avoid boredom from routine.
  • Enroll your child in a structured activity that he or she enjoys, such as tennis, gymnastics, martial arts, etc.
  • Instill an interest in your child to try a new sport by joining a team at school or in your community.
  • Limit the amount of TV watching.

Create a Healthy Eating Environment:

  • Implement the same healthy diet (rich in fruits, vegetables and grains) for your entire family, not just for select individuals.
  • Plan times when you prepare foods together. Children enjoy participating and can learn about healthy cooking and food preparation.
  • Eat meals together at the dinner table at regular times.
  • Avoid rushing to finish meals. Eating too quickly does not allow enough time to digest and to feel a sense of fullness.
  • Avoid other activities during mealtimes such as watching TV.
  • Avoid foods that are high in calories, fat or sugar.
  • Have snack foods available that are low-calorie and nutritious. Fruit, vegetables and yogurt are some examples.
  • Avoid serving portions that are too large.
  • Avoid forcing your child to eat if he/she is not hungry. If your child shows atypical signs of not eating, consult a healthcare professional.
  • Limit the frequency of fast-food eating to no more than once per week.
  • Avoid using food as a reward or the lack of food as punishment.

A few of these tips followed can help them in the future and prevent them from gettin obese and unhealthy.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows. She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore. Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

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