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What can you do if your child is overweight?

As a parent, you have many responsibilities to keep your child healthy. One of those is to help them eat well, do some movement and to maintain a healthy weight. Let’s discover what you can do if your child is overweight.

As a parent, you play a fundamental role in your child’s life. Children are changing their diet and their eating habits because of the influence of rapid social and economic development. They move less and eat unhealthy food, bringing a dramatic change within their childhood. As a parent, there is a lot you can do to help your child’s health. Child obesity brings some health complications such as type 2 diabetes or heart diseases, but it also leaves a lack of confidence in your child. Some research has shown that a healthy child is fitter, has more self-esteem, is a faster learner and it is more confident in their daily life.

If you would be traveling to Barcelona with kids and you would like some advice from a doctor, you can always consult one our Pediatricians in Barcelona by booking an appointment here.  

Keys steps for a healthier child:

paediatrician for kids

1- Activity and Movement: every child needs movement. Make sure your child does sports or exercises a few times per week. Choose a type of activity where they feel the most comfortable with. If you would be traveling to Barcelona with kids, you can find plenty of activities to do together!

How much should my child exercise in order to be healthy?

The physical activity can change according to the age of your child. Generally, it is recommended to at least 60 minutes of movement every day, that can be a moderate activity or a more intense one. Here some examples of moderate activities: walking, cycling, playing outside with other children, skateboarding, rollerblading. Examples of more intense movement activities can be swimming, running, football, dance, rugby, martial arts, tennis and gymnastics.

2- Good alimentation: A good alimentation is at the base of a healthy child. Children should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and meat. Discourage them to have sugary or high-fat foods like sweets, cakes, cookies or fizzy drinks.

3- Child size portions: You should avoid big portions especially if the food contains high calories. You can try to serve them small portions and then let them ask for more if they are still hungry. Try to not push them if they don’t want to finish the meal. Make sure that you know how many calories your child consumes each day.

4- Be a good role model: As a parent you are the first person that can help your child to have a healthier weight. He takes you as a role model to make sure you are healthy in the first place by eating healthy food or engaging in physical activity. Instead of watching TV, you can convince them to go for a walk, or play football outside or maybe take a bike ride with them. They would be having fun while doing exercise.

Why should I be concerned if my child is overweight?

You should be concerned because being overweight can bring some serious health problems into your child’s life. Some overweight children can develop type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart diseases. These consequences are not only concerning for their physical health but even their social sphere. Some of them can even have difficulties making friends or they can develop a lack of confidence. Some children might also experience bullying, teasing or depression.

Should I tell my child?

You know the best thing for your child in order to be happy and healthy, so it totally up to you. Some parents decide to speak with their children about the changes that are necessary for them. Others do it without their child noticing it. This is entirely your choice. 

As a parent, you should take care of your child’s health because a healthier child is a happier one.

If you will be traveling in Barcelona with kids, read our recommendations by our Pediatricians in Barcelona to be prepared in case they get sick!