August 09 2022

An alarm signal     

If your child is in preschool age and eat quickly, he has a higher risk of overweight and childhood obesity. Conversely, if actively eats for a prolonged period, probably do not be obese in the future.

Children who have these habits tend to eat larger amounts of food and experience less satiety. Try creating healthier eating habits.

Parents     

The size of food rations offered at home to children reflects quite closely the characteristics of parents (beliefs, habits, reactions, fears) especially quantities of food that parents serve themselves. Assess whether this is your case and make the necessary corrections.

Determinants     

The current "epidemic" of childhood obesity in children and adolescents is mainly due to the progressive increase in calorie consumption during the last 30 years caused by increased opportunities to eat or drink and the increase of the size of the food portions.

The irregularities of meals and skipping breakfast plays an important role in the development of overweight and obesity in adolescents.

From childhood, there is a close relationship between the consumption of large amounts of high-calorie foods and obesity.

If you provide your child a greater amount of food than necessary and high in calories, you are promoting unknowingly permanent habit to overeating, which can result in obesity, especially during the first childhood.

Reducing calories     

Increase the size of the serving of a vegetable at the beginning of the meal can be an effective strategy to increase vegetable consumption in preschool. Any portion of vegetable soup at the beginning of the food reduces the calorie intake compared to do nothing, but if the purpose is to reduce total calorie intake, this is only reduced when at least 150 grams of soup are served.

The number of calories can be reduced by increasing the intake of water-rich foods, such as vegetables and fruits. Fill the stomach at the start of a meal with vegetables or fruit and increase the proportion of vegetables in the main course are effective in controlling hunger and calories.

If you offer your child a bowl of vegetables before the main course food is likely to increase vegetable consumption. If progressively increase the amount of these foods, the child's consumption will increase proportionally up to a certain level. At this point, each new increase does not increase the consumption. However, caloric intake will remain unchanged.

Serving larger portions of fruits and vegetables together during dinner promotes the consumption of both foods in young children.

The reduction of calories in the diet by adding water-rich foods is associated with a substantial weight loss despite the child to eat larger amounts of food.

Serving the dessert after the meal leads to increased caloric intake, both in the main course as the dessert and, therefore, a higher total food intake.

Although not a common practice, serve the dessert while the main course reduces total calorie intake, regardless of the size of the main portion of food.

Children eat more fruit if are offered a greater amount of this food at meals. Therefore, increasing the amount of fruit available is useful in helping children to eat the recommended amount of these foods. When the amount of fruit and vegetable doubles, children eat less food although with more calories.

In short, serving smaller main courses, especially from foods high in calories and increase servings of fruits and vegetables served while the main course can improve the nutrition of children while improving satiety.

Chew thoroughly      

Teach your child to chew thoroughly each bite before swallowing and persevere in trying to get it. Teach also to eat small bites. The combination of both measures will increase satiety and can reduce the total amount of food eaten during the meal.

Snacks and treats     

If your child is fond of eating snacks or other foods between meals, chewing gum can be a solution because it can help control appetite.

The size of the container influences the amount of food consumed, regardless of the amount of food they contain. For this reason, try to give foods in small packages, eg. candies.

Beware snacks:

A study in Australia find 1070 different snacks available to consumers along with 863 kinds of drinks, while among considered healthy from a dietary point of view only found 14, including snacks and drinks.

Some warnings     

Make sure that what you provide your child labeled "baby food", it is really so. A significant number of products marketed for children are higher in fat, sugar and salt than those sold for the general population.

You should not use the most palatable foods as a reward for eating. The consumption of healthier foods can be stimulated by the increase in portion size, especially at the beginning of the meal.

PHYSICAL EXERCISE:

Do not lose sight that physical exercise is primordial to prevent childhood obesity. Avoid sedentary habits and promote physical activity by your son, although this forces you to become his playmate.