Childhood obesity is a global problem that can lead to diseases during adulthood. We propose healthy diets for overweight children. During the last years, the number of children with overweight or obesity has been increasing severely. Many parents try to find solutions for feeding their children that will prevent future health complications. For this, it is essential to stimulate a more active life and to apply diets for children with overweight or obesity problems. Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. The problem is global and is progressively affecting many low and middle income countries. The problem is that obese and overweight children tend to remain obese in adulthood and, moreover, are more likely to suffer at younger age’s heart problems, diabetes, asthma and even problems of social discrimination.
Overweight, obesity and related diseases are largely preventable. Therefore, the prevention of childhood obesity must be given high priority.
Help Overweight Children Adopt Healthy Habits
To obtain results of the diets for children with obesity problems, it is essential to balance the intake of calories through an adequate diet. The basis of this diet will be:
- Encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole products, to avoid refined products.
- It will also be important to include low-fat dairy products in the diet
- Reduce the consumption of red meats for the benefit of lean meats of poultry or fish.
- Legumes should also be an essential component of these diets for children with obesity problems since they are a great source of protein.
- The amounts should be moderate, to avoid excessive calorie intake
- Of course, significantly limit the consumption of sugar and saturated fats.
- One of the keys of these diets will be to avoid that the children take many sweetened drinks or industrial pastries.
You have to have creativity and find methods to make healthier versions of children’s favorite dishes. Also look for creative ways to incorporate less appetizing foods for children, such as vegetables.
Dieting Models for Children with Obesity Problems
To offer some ideas on proper diets for children with overweight problems, we include two examples of daily menus.
- Breakfast: It is essential to introduce skimmed versions of the dairy products, and accompany them with whole-grain toast with olive oil and a natural fruit juice.
- Lunch: A green salad with seeds and some vegetables will provide energy and proteins. It can also be pasta with vegetables or grilled fish. In the dessert it will be important to reduce the consumption of sugar and give them fruit or skimmed yogurt.
- Snack: It should not be too blunt. For example, a fruit-based dish or a bowl of whole grain cereals with skimmed milk.
- Dinner: You can include more vegetables, mashed potatoes or a chicken dish with vegetables. For dessert, a banana or a peach to complete the daily consumption of fruit.
Next, we suggest another alternative to expand the possibilities of the diet:
- Breakfast: It can be a fruit smoothie with skimmed milk, whole grains or toast with light jam. It could also be a low-fat yogurt or toast with avocado, olive oil and salt. In this way, a good amount of healthy natural fats are added to the diet of the children.
- Food: A plate of brown rice with vegetables or mushrooms, some peas with potato or a zucchini cream can provide children with a good amount of the daily vegetables required.
- Snack: At mid afternoon it is good to give the children an aperitif based on fruit or skimmed milk products. To encourage them to follow the diet, another option is to give them bread with dark chocolate or light cheese with honey. So they can have something sweet but without excessive consumption of sugar.
- Dinner: To finish your daily diet with a soft intake, we can prepare a fruit salad, asparagus au gratin or cheese and mozzarella skewers.
“The key to these diets for children who are overweight or obese is to reduce sugar consumption”.
It will also be important to prevent children from eating fast foods often based on precooked products. We must avoid that they eat in a distracted way, like sweets while watching television and, of course, encourage regular physical exercise. Always remember to consult a doctor to arrange the diet and make sure you do not deprive them of any nutrients.
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