Gables Montessori Blog


Some parents fail to recognize when children are too heavy and many consider their weight as “right”, but that is a normal behavior, typically we use to think that a thin child is not adequately fed. Besides, it is not easy to know what is the ideal number on the scale, because body changes so fast that we don’t realize our kids are getting fat until it’s too late. There are a variety of methods you can use to accurately measure your child’s weight and if it is necessary there are actions you can take to improve their health too.

According to research, a child who is obese at age 6 has a 50 percent chance of being an obese adult, which also means there is a serious risk for many diseases like diabetes and stroke. The first indicator of obesity is the parents. If you are an overweight parent, it is more likely that your child is or will become overweight. There are others signs, for example, if you need to buy clothes that are for a much older child or if you have to buy an adult size for your kid. But the final word comes from the doctor or nutritionist, he can measure your child’s waist circumference, the thickness of a pinch of skin or fat in various parts of the body or perform a bioelectrical impedance test. With those simple tests you can accurately measure your child’s weight and determine if it is diet time.

Children are constantly growing and developing human beings, so they need a variety of healthy foods to keep their bodies growing properly. Diets don’t include those nutritious foods so it is better for kids improve their health simply by eating healthy foods and being more active. Another issue related to diets is that when someone is willing to take extreme steps to be thinner could have an eating disorder as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, serious conditions that need a doctor’s attention. So if your child is overweight or obese, helping him get to a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for him. The right way to do it usually depends on your child’s age, activity and character and putting him on a diet maybe should be the ultimate option. There are certain actions that can be taken at home and that will help the whole family:

  • Try not to buy junk food. If you have it at home is easier for your kids to eat it.
  • Leave your kids at home when you are grocery shopping, make a list before and stick to it.
  • Sugary beverages are full of calories. A can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Juice is not much better. Prefer always water.
  • Be sure to serve your children appropriate portions of their meal and everything “on the plate”, so they get used to see the quantities of food.
  • Practice and teach moderation. A delicious cake or an ice cream can be saved for especial occasions.
  • Try not to promote the “clean plate club”, if you want to avoid the wasting of food, practice serving adequate portions to each member of the family.
  • The best thing you can teach your children is to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are satisfied, not full.
  • Prefer natural foods, the processed ones tend to contain more calories. Fruits instead of juices, raw vegetables instead of the cooked ones.
  • Plan ahead. Once a week, sit down and plan the week’s meals and make sure you have all the ingredients for your healthy menu.
  • Choose always fat-free or low-fat dairy products, your kids won´t know the difference and will love low-fat or fat-free cheese, yogurt and milk.
  • Assume this phrase as a rule or mantra: “If it’s fried, don’t eat it”. Fried foods are unhealthy. Maintain your family away from them whenever possible.
  • Walk, dance, run, play with your kids, try to incorporate exercise and movement into their daily activities. Take the stairs, play some sport, walk after dinner.
  • Avoid comment on what or how much your kids are eating, your children should become responsible for their own way of feeding. Phrases like “eat your vegetables” sometimes create rejection.
  • Involve your kids in choosing or preparing healthy meals, they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve created.
  • Allow treats as having candy, soda, cereals and cookies sometimes when visiting grandparents or when the family is on vacation.
  • Be a role model. Assume that eating healthy is a way of living not an erratic habit. Your kids imitate your behavior, so be honest and teach how to take care of themselves but also when to enjoy a delicious meal for an special occasion. Balance is what counts.

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