Parenting Lesson 24 - Tracking your child's development

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. I'm concerned that my child weighs too much — what should I do?

  2. I'm concerned that my child weighs too less — what should I do?

  3. I'm concerned my child doesn't eat enough — what should I do?

I'm concerned that my child weighs too much — what should I do?

Speak to your child's doctor or other health care provider if you are worried about the weight of your child. He or she will check your child's overall health and development over time and tell you if weight control can be helpful.

Many children who are still growing in length may not need to lose weight; they will need to decrease the amount of weight they gain as they grow taller. Don't put your kid on a weight-loss diet unless your child's doctor orders you to do so.

Try to make your child's physical activity enjoyable. Children require about 60 minutes of physical activity a day but they don't have to do it all at once. Several brief 10-or even 5-minute runs of action during the day are just as pleasant. If your child is not used to being involved, encourage him or her to start slowly and build up to 60 minutes a day.

I'm concerned that my child weighs too less — what should I do?

Children between the ages of 6 and 12 continue to grow, which means they need energy (calories) and nutrients from a varied and healthy diet. If your child is underweight, he or she cannot get enough calories.

As long as he/she is a safe eater, there should be no cause for concern. Of course, a lot of kids are thin. Chances are, your child's going to fill up as she gets older. Most children follow a fairly steady growth curve that is determined, in part, by genetics; if you were a beanpole in your youth, it is more than possible that your child would be too.

However, you should be worried when a young person doesn't appear to grow up properly. If your child has lost weight or shot up in height without winning a pound, talk to her paediatrician.

I'm concerned my child doesn't eat enough — what should I do?

Parents can't—and shouldn't—force their children to feed. You must deliver a variety of healthy foods and make your meals enjoyable. It might not seem like your child's eating a lot, but it's more than you realize in a day or a week.

Bear in mind that children have tiny stomachs, and some of them can only handle a few bites at a time. Because of this, children need to feed more frequently than adults do. In reality, it's perfectly common for a child to have a chow six times a day. Using snack time as an excuse to sneak into some nutritious snacks, not just empty calories. Give fruit (dried and fresh), cheese, whole-wheat crackers, yoghurt, peanut butter, whole-grain slices of bread and muffins, smoothies, carrot sticks and other nutritious but enticing dishes. It's also a good idea to leave snacks in rooms other than the kitchen—put some celery sticks or fruit on a coffee table in the living room, for example.

If your child is a fire eater, try making food as appetizing as possible. You can cut sandwich bread into fun shapes with a cookie cutter or dab spreads like jam, peanut butter, mustard and ketchup in the form of a face for young children.

To stimulate your child's interest in healthy eating, find ways to engage her in shopping, developing, or preparing food. Try to build a vegetable garden together or plant herbs in a pot or on a window. And children who dislike green beans can be enticed to taste the beans they have grown themselves. Take your child to the grocery store and choose (healthy food that she wants. There's nothing like spending time in the kitchen with tantalizing aromas to get your child excited about food.

Most importantly, don't fight for food. Mind that you are trying to develop healthier eating habits that will last, It's a lifetime. Keep your pantry full with whatever nutritious foods your child likes, and offer new foods from time to time. Never push her/him to eat anything: that's sure she's going back to flames.