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“Beta, one more spoon and you can watch your favourite cartoon pukka”. So, another bite and off goes Aryan to watch his favourite cartoon for a long time. Since an early age, Aryan’s mother Riya felt that she needed to feed her child that little bit extra. So, she would try every means to feed Aryan lest he becomes cranky. She always liked her son to be plump as it was a sign that he was well taken care of. Well, who doesn’t love chubby babies?
As mothers, we all think that if our kids are plump, they are well fed and have enough nutrition. As the kids grow, they need to be fed extra to ensure that they gain proper height and weight. However, we need to understand the quality of food, which we are serving our kids, is more important. If we are able to feed enough of the required food groups, we need not force them to eat that little bit extra.
Aryan was not a fussy eater either and an envy of every mother. He would sit in front of the television and finish his food to the last morsel on the plate. At times, he would ask for shake or something to munch between meals. Aryan was slightly fat for his age but the main concern was not there. He was always lethargic, not into playing games and would opt for watching television rather than hanging out with friends. To us, he was the ideal good boy since he was not up to some mischief like our children and would eat when his mother asked him to.
During one of his vaccination dates, when Riya went to the doctor, there came alarming news. The doctor diagnosed Aryan with being “obese” and it had lots of meaning for a kid. We always relate healthy child with a chubby child and never think of it as a problem. However, there are a growing number of incidences where children who are obese are suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels,early diabetes and more prone to chronic diseases than others. They are more likely to be overweight adults than others. So, this condition needs to be taken care of at an early stage so as to reduce the risks involved with it.
Aryan had high cholesterol levels and was more prone to get heart diseases than others of his age. This news was a shock to all of us and this directly affected his entire lifestyle pattern. Some of the changes that the doctor prescribed for him are:
1. Stop overfeeding your child. The mothers need to monitor the quality of food that goes on the plate of our children but let the kids decide the quantity of food they want to eat. Using television as a bribe is not a good idea.
2. Avoid the intake of junk food and high sugary snacks. This includes limiting the intake of chips, juice, cakes and lollies.
3. Make your child do lots of physical exercise. This includes free play, taking up a sport or just hanging out with friends. Try to limit the television time since it doesn’t aid in a child’s growth.
4. Start giving him a health drink, suitable for his age that could support a healthy weight gain and brain development. Do look up for DHA presence in it as it helps in brain development.Thus, this will ensure that the mothers do not overfeed the kid and at the same time be happy about the fact that the dietary needs are kept. Of course, you can’t stop at just a cup of Health drinks to take care of all the nutrients requirements of your child!
5. Give food from all the required food groups to the child. If you give food from each food group of milk and dairy products, starchy food, fruits & vegetables, and proteins, you can rest assured that his nutritional diet is getting completed.
Apart from the above-mentioned changes, Aryan’s food quantity was also limited and some of the food items were restricted altogether due to his medical condition. Thus, as parents, we must be always vigilant regarding our kids and their habits. Though they may seem cute, chubby babies are not healthy babies.