Beating the bulge - practical solutions | Munchwize Dietitians

Solutions for beating the bulge and decreasing the risk of childhood obesity:

  • Exclussively breastfeed for the first 6 months of life.
  • Following 6 months, introduce appropriate and adequate complimentary foods and continue breastfeeding up to 2 years.
  • Round 6 months is a good time to introduce iron-fortified infant cereals, pureed vegetables or puréed meats to help restore diminishing iron stores.
  • Between the ages of 6 – 8 months, it’s a good time to introduce puréed or mashed fruits and vegetables.
    • Gradually introduce one food at a time to recognize possible allergic reactions.
    • Start with your veggies first and introduce the sweeter fruits second.
  • Remember you are a child’s first role model.
    • Your eating and lifestyle behaviors are imprinted onto your child. Healthy eating and active lifestyles need to be adopted by the whole family.
  • Encourage and offer children to eat a variety of foods.
  • Offer children 5 small meals a day.
  • Ensure children receive plenty of veg and fruit everyday.
    • Focusing on a daily intake of dark green leafy veg and orange coloured, vitamin A rich veg and fruit.
  • Children from 1-7 years need to drink milk daily.
  • Offer children clean safe water
  • Get kids involved in the kitchen.
    • Being more involved will help them to learn more about food and they are more likely to eat something they have been involved in preparing.
  • Get moving.
    • Encourage children to be more active and reduce the amount of time spent in front of the TV or computer.
    • Make physical activity fun and do this as a family.
  • Make food interesting and fun.
    • Offer various colours and make the plate interesting.
  • Reward good behavior with exciting activities or stickers instead of food rewards.
    • Food rewards give children the impression that certain foods are more desirable than others.
  • Sit down to meals as a family.
    • Avoid eating in front of the TV.
  • Don’t encourage skipping of meals
  • Limit the junk.
    • Homemade meals can not only be more affordable but are so much healthier for you and your kids.
  • Avoid high sugar, fat or salty snacks.
    • These are just full of empty calories. Rather encourage snacks made with whole grains, fruit, veg or dairy.
  • Healthy eating and lifestyle behaviour starts at home.

 

Munchwize Dietitians are based in Claremont, Cape Town. Contact us here