Know the Cause of Why Your Little One is Overweight and How to Overcome It

Oleh: Morinaga Platinum

Consciously or not, along with time, the risk of overweight on your Little One is increased. This is caused by many factors, one of which is, the easier access to fast food and food with bad nutrition, and coupled with the assumption that "a fat kid is adorable" which is massively circulating in our society. Mean while, an obese child is not necessarily healthy.

According to a 2016 study report conducted by UNICEF, WHO and ASEAN, the percentage of obese children in Indonesia is 12 percent. Overweight condition makes the Little One is at high risk to have chronic illness and experience stress.

The categories of weight by using the recommendation from the Indonesian Medical Association (IDAI) are as follow:

  • For children <2 years old, use the 2006 WHO Body Mass Index. The Z score> +2 is classified as overweight and values> +3 are classified as obese
  • For children aged 2-18 years, use the 2000 CDC Body Mass Index Graph. All values above as overweight and above the 85-95th percentile is categorized as obese.

The tips for handling the Little One who has excess body weight are to reduce unhealthy foods and increase physical activity. For that, it takes an efficient method and a persistence of the Mommy to change the Little One’s habits of life.

Two things to consider by Mommy if the Little One has an excess weight, namely:

Food

Generally, weight gain comes from the daily food that the Little One consumes. Dig up as much information as possible about setting up good nutrition for the family.

  • Choose healthy foods. Limit foods high in sugar and fat. Be creative in processing vegetables and always tuck them in the menu, everyday. WHO recommends an intake of fruits and vegetables at least 5 servings a day.
  • Make a meal schedule and do it consistently. Give food only at mealtime. Food consumption is only necessary if the body needs it, not because of emotional factors such as pleasure or sadness.
  • Serve food on a small plate to make the dish look plenty. In this way, it is expected that the Little One eats in an enough portion.
  • Get your Little One to have breakfast. Serve high-fiber foods such as cereals and multiply the portions of fruits so that the Little One feels full for a longer time and gets energized.
  • Provide low calorie healthy snacks, such as fruit, at home.
  • Serve unsweetened homemade fruit juice for the Little One and increase the Little One’s water consumption.

Physical Activity

By doing physical activity, the Little One will not only be physically fit but also can be more creative.

  • Your Little One is a master imitator. Therefore, Mommy should provide an example of a healthy lifestyle by having a regular exercise.
  • For toddlers, physical activity needs to be done at least 3 hours a day in a divided time throughout the day.
  • For the Little One of over 5 years, make sure that he/she does intense physical activity at least 1 hour a day. Invite him to play outdoors, like hide and seek.
  • Reduce passive activity time, such as watching TV or playing video games. Limit the time for these activities to less than 1 hour a day for pre-school age and 2 hours a day for school-age.

Habits cannot change overnight. In order for your Little One to be healthy, variation of many foods to balance the nutrients is needed. Do not stop one type of food drastically. Do it patiently, gradually, and creatively. Mommy needs to focus on instilling the healthy eating habits and improving physical activity. Have a discussion with your pediatrician if you have difficulty in managing your Little One’s body weight.

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