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How to prevent childhood overweight
Clínica Juaneda

How to prevent childhood overweight

It seems that, little by little, we are getting back to normality in our everyday lives. However, there are some sectors of the population that will take a bit longer to recover, and which we need to pay attention to.

We mean, for example, the youngest members of the family, who, despite having been the first to take over the streets, haven’t got back to routine just yet. They can’t go back to school, they spend much more time at home and it is harder for them to understand the situation we are going through.

We are aware of the effort parents around the world have made –and are still making- in order to make their children’s lockdown time as bearable as possible. In many cases, that extra dose of cuddles involves a change of their diets with occasional extra grants.

From Juaneda Hospitals, we want to devote special attention to children’s diets, since childhood obesity and overweight have become serious problems that might be affecting 70 million children in 2025, according to the World Health Organization.

What can we do to prevent this problem? First and foremost, we need to be able to build good habits since the first months of their lives, hence preventing overweight from becoming a health problem not only in their childhood, but also in their adult lives.

Suggestions to prevent overweight

-  Leading by example: if all members of the family and their environment eat healthy food, they will be more likely to replicate this pattern.

-  Eating together: we must place value on the acts of having lunch and dinner. A sort of screen-free rituals in which conversation is encouraged.

-  Eating more fruits and vegetables: ideally, five pieces per day.

-  Healthy snacks at sight and within reach of the children: sliced and peeled carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, dry hard-shelled fruit-

-  Suitable portions considering their age, level of exercise and size: we need to be realistic when preparing their rations. We shouldn’t place an excessive amount of food nor an insufficient one.

-  Making a shopping list and planning the menus: not leaving room to improvisation or hurries is the key to prevent precooked dishes and unhealthy products.

-  Avoiding having temptations at home: fostering a healthy diet will be much easier if we do not have any chips, snacks, sugary drinks, pastries, etc. at all in the pantry.

-  Encouraging physical exercise: not using the car for everything and fostering walking, sports, games and walking routes.

We know that not succumbing to sweet temptations might be difficult during these weeks. However, your children’s health will appreciate it.

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