Choosemyplate.gov is offering screen time that makes a difference!
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Blast Off is a totally great game to help kids see what they are choosing.
PRINTABLES about nutrition and portions for children
Excerpt from http://patient.info/health/obesity-and-overweight-in-children
"What is the treatment for a child who is overweight or obese?
The main way to treat a child who is overweight or obese is to look at changes that can be made to their lifestyle. Changes that involve the whole family are best. Other family members who are overweight may also benefit at the same time. Remember that as a parent or carer, you act as an important role model for your child and you can help them to stay healthy.
The two main lifestyle changes that are advised are for your child to eat more healthily and do plenty of physical activity. Small, gradual changes may be best. Your child will then be more likely to stick to these changes in the long term.
As a parent or carer, you should try to be involved as much as possible in helping your child make these changes. However, some older teenagers may prefer to take responsibility for themselves. Think about how your child's progress is going to be monitored. Discuss this with their healthcare professional. At every opportunity, give praise and encourage your child in what they are doing.
See separate leaflet called Weight Reduction - How to Lose Weight for more details.
Eating more healthily
Overweight children should be encouraged to eat more healthily and to reduce the total number of calories that they eat. In most cases, as a parent, you will need to take responsibility for making changes to your child's diet, especially if your child is under the age of 12. However, it is important to involve the child as much as possible and to listen to their ideas and preferences when deciding what changes to make to the food that they eat.
Your healthcare professional may ask you to keep a diary of the food that your child eats. They may then have specific recommendations for changes to make. Sometimes a referral to a dietician may be suggested.
Some suggestions that may be helpful include:
- Aim for a balanced and varied diet for the whole family.
- Encourage your child to eat meals at regular times and to watch how often they are eating. They should avoid snacking as much as possible.
- Try to eat meals in a sociable atmosphere as a family, without distractions. For example, do not eat in front of the television.
- If snacks are eaten, they should be healthy snacks (for example, fruit) instead of sweets, chocolates, crisps, nuts, biscuits and cakes.
- Low-calorie drinks are better than sugary drinks (water is best).
- Snacks or food should not be used as a reward.
- Encourage your child to watch the portion sizes of the food that they are eating.
- Make up a third of most of your child's meals with starch-based foods (such as cereals, bread, potatoes, rice, pasta). Wholegrain starch-based foods should be eaten when possible.
- Make sure that your child eats plenty of foods high in fibre. Foods rich in fibre include wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, oats, peas, lentils, grain, beans, fruit, vegetables and seeds. Amongst other things, foods high in fibre will help to fill your child up.
- Aim for at least five portions, or ideally 7-9 portions, of a variety of fruit and vegetables per day for your child.
- Children need some fat in their diet but aim to grill, boil or bake rather than fry foods.
Doing plenty of physical activity
It is recommended that all children should do at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Some suggest that children who are overweight or obese should even do more than this. This 60 minutes does not have to be done all at once and can be broken up into 10- or 15-minute blocks. Try to find activities that your child enjoys, rather than something they don't want to do. This way they are more likely to continue with it. Also, you should encourage your child to become generally less inactive (sedentary). The amount of time that they spend doing sedentary activities, such as watching television, using a computer, or playing video games, should be less than two hours each day.
As parents and carers, there are some ways that you can encourage your child to become more physically active. For example:
- Encourage active play for your child, including games that involve moving around a lot, such as skipping, dancing, running or ball games.
- Encourage your child to spend less time sitting doing sedentary activities.
- Build physical activity into your child's life in general. Try to be more active as a family. For example, walking or cycling to school and the shops, going swimming or to the park together. Again, remember that as a parent or carer, you act as a role model.
- Help children to take part regularly in structured physical activities that they enjoy. This may include dancing, football or other sports or swimming."