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Lock-down not a good news for kids waistline

Lock-down not a good news for kids waistline

  • September 15, 2020

The corona-virus pandemic has led all of us to stay at home, and children, perhaps are the most affected due to the restriction. They are not going to school, and do not have their normal evening play-time either. Playing games and sports with friends and mates in school and in the evening are very important physical forms of exercise that ensure that children stay in a healthy weight range, and also have a steady, normal growth.

With nothing much to do inside home, people, children especially, directed their attention towards food, television and other indoor entertainment activities. One worrisome effect of it is seen in obese children, most of whom started eating more than usual.

As per the study done on behavioral changes of children during the lock-down and compared it with their previous pattern, the children slept an extra half hour per day, spent nearly five hours per day in front of the screen, and dramatically increased their consumption of red meat, sugary drinks, and junk foods leading a sharp decrease in their physical activity. Figuring out healthy meals for children is a challenge for parents, especially since children tend to demand food very frequently, as they are hungry and bored. Parents also are turning to ready meals and processed foods because of this crisis.

Tips to help your child maintain a healthy weight

Ensure that you include fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet for proper nutrition. Keep a stock of healthy snacks – Children often need frequent snacks. Instead of giving sweets or salty packaged foods, you can use healthier options like cheese, yogurt, chopped dried fruits, fruit salad, boiled eggs, roasted paneer, tofu, boiled chickpeas, chana, cucumber salad, among others. These should be tempting and more nutritious and help in building a healthy eating habit. Avoid giving junk food to your children as it is high in calories which turns into fat in your liver and weakens your immune system. Limit highly processed foods, avoid sugary drinks, packaged deserts, sweets, and ice creams. While these can be consumed once in a while for taste, they should not become a regular part of your child’s diet. Add yoga and exercise in your child’s daily routine which keeps immune system and mind healthy. Make exercise fun by including props and music. Try to ensure a fixed meal time for your kids. Make sure the family eats together as these structured routines help in reducing anxiety in children in stressful times. Avoid eating in front of the TV. Making healthier food choices for yourself and your children can help build immunity. Food items like whole grains, eggs, fish, dairy products, brown rice, potatoes, pulses, nuts and seeds are good options to include in your diet. Ensure a balanced diet for all people, especially your kids. In a plate, 1/2 plate should be filled with vegetables and salads, 1/4 with rice or roti, and 1/4 with protein-rich pulses, or meat. You must maintain a regular sleep routine of minimum 10 -12 hours in a day for children below the age of 10, and 8-9 hours for teenagers as it helps in keeping the body healthy and also ensures a sense of normalcy in the routine.

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