Does My Child Need to Lose Weight?
If you think your child is overweight, it may be difficult to discuss with him/her because you don’t want your child to feel self-conscious. A good place to start is by making an appointment for a physical with your Primary Care Provider or at School Based Health Center. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common tool used to determine if your child is overweight and it is calculated from a child’s weight and height, then it is compared to a growth chart. Because children are still growing, growth charts are used to determine if the child is within a normal weight range for his or her age. Your Health Care Provider can discuss with you ways to encourage healthy growth for your child.
What can you do to help your child now?
Eat meals together as a family whenever possible
Limit ‘empty calorie’ foods such as soda, candy, chips and fast-food to once in a while, not everyday and remove them from cupboards, or put them where they are not visible or easily to get to…this will help to limit temptations
Encourage plenty of water, avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice
Try to do something active as a family a few times a week, such as walking, dancing, bicycling, play catch or swimming
Limit television, computer and video game time to an average of two hours or less per day
Ensure that breakfast at home or school is part of your family’s daily routine
Watch portion sizes by looking on the “Nutrition Facts” label, and teach your children what an actual serving size looks like. Remember, 1 cup = size of fist, 1 tbsp = top of your thumb from tip to first knuckle
Choose foods that have low fat (less then 30%) and low sugar (less than 12g per serving)
Eat off a smaller plate instead of out of the box or bag. Place single serving size portions in baggies for later munching.
There is no easy answer, but one thing is clear, prevention is the long term solution. It starts with arming children with the knowledge about nutrition at a young age. Keeping children healthy and growing strong means taking steps to keep them active and eating healthy foods every day.
For more helpful hints or if you have more questions about helping your children keep a healthy weight as they grow, feel free to make an appointment with your primary care provider, or call one of the School-Based Health Centers:
Indian Hill Elementary
3121 U Street
Omaha, NE 68107
Spring Lake Magnet Elementary
4215 S. 20th Street
2021 St. Mary’s Ave.
Omaha, NE 68102
1311 N. 24th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
King Science Magnet
3720 Florence Blvd.
Omaha, NE 68110
3775 Curtis Ave.
Omaha, NE 68111
We look forward to seeing you and your family!
Anna Meyers DNP, FNP-C, ARNP
King Science & Technology Magnet Middle, School School-Based Health Center
Charles Drew Health Center