Tackling obesity in early childhood with NRS Healthcare

Since Max started weaning at 6 month’s, issues such as weight and obesity have always ranked quite high in my list of child related worries.

Max was fed on demand as a nipper, which meant we didn’t stick to the 4 hours on the dot feeding schedule – he led us and gave cues as to when he was hungry.

It was a complete no-brainer for us to choose ‘Baby Led Weaning’ instead of the traditional puree route when Max hit 6 months.

Please click here for more information regarding baby led weaning:

 

This is Max on his baby led journey.

We were met with a lot of criticism about how we would make him ‘fat’, by allowing him to choose what and the quantity of food he would consume. Two years on however, we have a healthy toddler that likes to eat but also has enough exercise to burn any excess fat off. It’s all about balance.

Do I think obesity is linked to the eating habits in the childhood years?

Without a doubt the two are linked, how can they not be? If you let your child fall into bad habits from a young age then it will inevitably follow on to their adult lives.

As parents, it is our sole responsibility to make sure OUR KIDS are eating a healthy balanced diet consisting of meats, vegetables and fruit. It can be too easy to allow our children to just consume crap.

Exercise is also extremely important. We need to teach them early on that to be healthy means moving and not just being stuck indoors glued to the TV.

Recently we’ve teamed up with NRS Healthcare to try and spread the word about their new campaign to launch a digital online ‘Healthy Living Family Pack’, to be used as a tool to help families that may be suffering from issues of overeating, inactivity or poor nutrition.

 

You can access the pack here

At home, we try and set good examples to the boys by eating (with the odd treat) a healthy balanced diet as well as getting out of the house most days for walks or some fun in the park.

Exercise is just as important as diet. Kai is only 6 months old, so obviously doesn’t walk yet, but we encourage Max to walk as much as he can. It’s a little trickier when I have the two of them on my own as Max likes to play on my soft side asking to be picked up when his legs get tired.

He loves to jump, run and dance; all things we encourage heavily. Once both boys are a little older we will definitely have them doing chores around the house!

When the weather is on our side, we love to take walks in the local wood’s as a little adventure and of course you can’t go wrong with the park.

Kai was a little shocked at finding himself on a swing.

Kai was a little shocked at finding himself on a swing.

There is nothing quite like a walk in the woods.

The NRS Healthcare family pack includes all kind’s of goodies to help keep on track:

  • Family Activity Cards
  • Family Day Out Wish List
  • Daily Chores Calorie Counter (for parents)
  • Chore Chooser Star Chart (for children)

The activity cards are brilliant and include some really simple stuff that can help keep you active as a family. Activities such as playing in the park or kicking a ball around outside needn’t be expensive.

I asked another blogger Sarah from the blog Run Jump Scrap for her expert opinion as a dietitian for the best way to stay happy and healthy in childhood:

Healthy eating in kids:

Healthy eating for children can really be such a minefield sometimes but ultimately thinking about moderation, balance and portion sizes is the key.

Children need enough energy and good quality protein to grow and thrive. It’s important to base meals on protein, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, beans or lentils. A portion of carbohydrate is needed for energy such as bread, cereal, pasta, rice or potato. Finally including 1 or 2 portions of vegetables with each meal is important, aiming for 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.

If your little one wants a pudding, offer fruit or yoghurt as the first options. There is nothing wrong with a

There is nothing wrong with a small bit of cake or a biscuit now and then, as long as not all the time.

Snack wise, again try and offer fruit but bread sticks, cheese cubes, vegetable sticks or cereal and milk are good options. Offer

Offer sugar-free drinks, water being the first choice. The final thing to think about is portion sizes.

The final thing to think about is portion sizes.

There are some good online guides to help but you can be giving your child a fab diet but just too much. Try to set a good example yourself and eat well. Food is to be enjoyed together and children learn by example

Food is to be enjoyed together and children learn by example

It goes without saying that if you are at all concerned about any aspect of your nutrition or child’s then please do not hesitate to contact your local GP.

With a little bit of help and guidance, we can make sure that the future generation’s won’t suffer the perils that come with obesity.

 

This is a collaborative post.
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10 Comments

  1. February 13, 2017 / 7:48 am

    Love this. I completely agree that the choices we make when they’re babies will define how they’ll be as adults. The activity cards look great for giving you something different to do as a family. It can be easy to feel you’ve fallen into a rut.

    Great post!

  2. February 13, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    What a great campaign! Similar to you childhood obesity worries me, less with Darcie as she’s a grazer and will stop when full but already at 7 months old Henry has a tendancy to overeat so this is definately something we have to be more aware of this time around.

  3. February 16, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    This is such an important topic. I think teaching children about a healthy balanced diet and getting exercise on a daily basis is just so important – getting outside instead of playing computer games or going in the garden for a quick kick about rather than doing mammoth exercises! x

    • Kris
      February 16, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      I think with kids in mind its far better to do something simple than nothing at all.

  4. February 16, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    I think the key messages of balance, moderation and portion sizes are really great and so easy to remember. Mich x

  5. February 17, 2017 / 9:17 am

    I love Baby Led Weaning and both of my boys (now aged 4 and 6) were exclusively fed in this way, partly because they didn’t really like puree. But, I’ve realised that this route has led them to have a very healthy attitude towards food (not that puree doesn’t of course). They know when to stop eating and they are willing to try anything.

    I love the activity cards btw!

  6. February 17, 2017 / 9:17 am

    This is such an important issue. As a mum to a very picky eater I worry about her diet a lot. We always get outside and get as much fresh air and exercise as possible, in a fun and subtle way that doesn’t feel like a chore!

  7. February 17, 2017 / 9:33 am

    I’ve struggled with my weight most of my adult life so I’m doing my best to educate my kids about healthy eating. Luckily they both love fruit and veg so that’s one battle I don’t have to fight 🙂

  8. February 17, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    Brilliant post and topic. I’m such a supporter of baby led weaning, teaching children to be in control of how much they eat and stop when they are full instead of eating the amount I’ve specified they should eat. Dil eats most things, everything in moderation I say! And we get outside and stay moving most days. Really important to educate parents about this!

  9. February 17, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    I think obesity in kids is something we all need to think about. We try to give L decent food and ensure she gets enough exercise. She’s always been on the small side, but still need to be conscious of weight related issues.

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