Kids Weight and Healthy Habits
This year with Covid-19 many of our routines and daily habits have changed. This is especially true for children whose school schedule was uprooted. Children's sports and after-school activities halted over the year, leaving more time for children to be at home. From bedtimes and meal changes many parents have seen a shift in their child's weight. As alarming as this may be it's important that parents understand how to support and what to do and what not to do when addressing this concern. NPR put together a great article on this topic getting information from experts.
Check it out
How to address children's weight gains!
"Don't Focus On Kids' Weight Gain. Focus On Healthy Habits Instead"
Do: Check in with your pediatrician to see whether the weight gain is outside the norm. Children are growing and their weight will be shifting. However, checking in with a pediatrician to address children's health will give you a better understanding as well.
Don't: Tell kids there's something wrong with their weight. This can create an unhealthy association with weight and body image.
Do: Get bedtimes back on track. Getting back to a healthy routine really support children in the mental and physical wellbeing.
Don't: Put your kids on a diet. Limiting food or creating diets for children often backfire and causes more harm.
Do: Create more structure around mealtimes. Mealtimes helps model good eating behavior. Sitting down to eat and having a set schedule around a healthy and homecooked meal supports children in learning good mealtime habits.
Do: Build movement breaks into the day. Finding ways to move more throughout the day is a wonderful addition to overall health. Family walks, biking, are some of the options.
Don't: Try to overhaul everything all at once. Nothing will change overnight, creating new routines take time.
Do: Start slow and continue finding new healthy habits and switch out those unhealthy ones that may have been taken up over this last year and a half. Make changes as a family. Including everyone in new routines helps children not to feel singled out. Modeling healthy habits for your children and doing things together has the most impact on children.