A child’s weight is always a concern, be it for a newbie parent or a parent of a toddler or a teenager. Every parent is given a booklet at the time of childbirth by their obstetrician or midwife that focuses on the statistics of height and weight at a particular age. And yes, parents try to follow that blindly. They are scared if the child’s weight criteria is not met at a particular age group. And in their quest to achieve the Holy Grail that will manage their child’s ‘said’ weight, parents unknowingly commit certain mistakes that are actually putting adverse effects on your child’s weight.
Are you that parent committing the same mistake too? Don’t slash down the calories – For parents who are trying to eliminate calories from your child’s diet because of weight issues, you are doing it wrong! Calories in diet give the necessary energy to keep your child running through the day. With an elimination of calories you are actually slowing them down and making them tired. The solution is to reduce the calorie intake but not completely slash it down. You can seek help from a paediatrician/nutritionist on a diet chart for your kid Giving in to a child’s food demands – It is very normal for a child to like fries, chicken nuggets, donuts and candies while detest fruits and vegetables. That doesn’t mean that you are completely going to give up on their healthy eating habits and feed on whatever trash that curbs the appetite. Parents also commit the very common mistake of bribing kids into eating vegetables and other healthier fare with candies and chocolates. Unknowingly you are setting the impression that healthy food is bad and candies are good. Instead of bribing them with an unhealthy food alternative, treat them to a board game or a day out with friends. Your child is what you are – Have you ever heard the comment “the boy is the carbon-copy of the father or the girl is the carbon copy of the mother?” Parents can be both a good as well as bad influence on the child. So don’t set a bad example for your child by munching on everything unhealthy while sitting lazily in front of the TV. It won’t take long for your child to pick on your habit. Instead take your child out to play or you could also try on a few physical activities with your kids. It’s actually fun! Allowing your child to skip breakfast – Let’s admit the fact. Most of us skip breakfast. Our child is no different. But giving in to a child’s wish to not having breakfast before starting for the day is a very wrong decision on the parent’s part. Skipping breakfast will result in your kid snacking on unhealthy food throughout the day. Try putting together a quick and nutritious breakfast meal like oats with assortment of fruits, a bowl of cereal with milk or a good fat green sandwich. Children love colour on their plate. Try variety! Forcing child to finish food – The intention might be right but the execution wrong. We understand that you are well-meaning and want to educate your child on how not to waste food. But why force your child to overeat? Cut back on the portion size. Let him eat only according to his capacity, but not eat food while hating it. Body shaming Also most parents are in the habit of shaming their child’s body weight. Haven’t we all heard from at least one parent we know “My child is very chubby” or “He/She loves MacD”? This is one of the very common discussion in a family get-together with kids by the side. That is where parents commit a blunder. Whereas your child might never understand as a toddler, but with age this gives a negative impact. Instead inculcate healthy eating habits in your child with lots of fruits, veggies and lean meat. You could also enrol them in a sports group.
Your baby was born with a special love for his/her body. Haven’t you noticed your child exploring those tiny limbs as infants? So shaming your kid before a room full of people will actually give them the impression that eating will distort their bodily structure. The pursuit to fit into that tiny jeans or the skimpy swim suit will lead to serious eating disorders that is irrevocable. Be careful with your words parents! Unknowingly you might be pushing your kid to an eating disorder that is akin to a serious mental illness. You do not want that now, do you? Punishing, shaming and blaming your child for food will never improve their diet habits but lead to consequences like lack of confidence and self-esteem, inability to self-regulate eating and body negativity image. Don’t focus on the quantity your child eats, but the quality he is fed. It is going to make a huge difference.