People nowadays have tried a diet or two already which is not surprising given that we are more aware of our body’s image compared to before. Although the term diet is meant the type of food that we are eating, it can also refer to reducing one’s calorie intake.
And it’s not just the adults who are struggling with their weight and want to go on a diet, because there are kids too who are quite conscious of their figure as well. You’re probably wondering if your kids should be on a diet already seeing that their baby fats are lingering, but not all kids should not have to.
Why Kids Shouldn’t Go on a Diet
Going on a diet means that you will be restricting your consumption of calories so that the body will burn the excess fats for fuel which can trigger weight loss. Although adults need to cut back on their food consumption, children don’t have to because they are still in the growing and developing stage. At this stage, they will need to eat different types of nutritious food so that they will be able to grow properly.
But what about children who are overweight? Although some parents may believe that putting them on a restrictive diet is going to be good for them, teaching them how to eat healthy has better and long-term effects. It’s true that being overweight poses a health risk to children, but kids can get hurt even more when they are put into a restrictive diet where they miss out on important nutrients.
The Dangers of Diets
The problem with putting your kids on a diet is that you may be following a fad diet which can prevent them from learning how to follow a healthier lifestyle. Fat diets may help them lose weight at one point, but they won’t be sustainable in the long run. What happens is that, once the diet is finished, your child may simply go back to his or her old eating habits which can lead to more weight gain.
What’s more, there are fad diets that require your child to remove certain food groups to their daily meal which can pose a problem to their overall health especially in their developmental stage because it means that they will be missing out on crucial nutrients. Regardless of whether the diet calls for a smoothie, or just limiting food intake to soups, diets are never good for kids to begin with.
What Your Kids Can Do
If your child is not going on a diet to lose weight, how can they manage? Well, this is where teaching them healthy eating habits will come in. Here’s what they should have in their meals:
- Whole grain foods
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, nuts, and other foods that are high in protein content
- Dairy as well as milk products
These foods are packed with the right nutrients that are essential for your child’s growth just like in the case of protein, which is necessary for building muscles, while calcium is critical for growing bones. Even fiber plays a role in keeping bowels moving which is necessary to flush out any toxins that have accumulated over time.
If you are worried that your child will not be too keen on following this kind of diet, you might want to try rewarding them. Try active play as a reward for their behavior rather than bribing them with sweets as the latter can develop an unhealthy food association. Another way to encourage your child to eat their vegetables is to eat them too during mealtimes as part of a positive reinforcement.