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How can I help my child lose weight?

How can I help my child lose weight?

If your child is under 10-12 years old you can manage their weight without them realising they are on a diet.

If your child is under 10-12 years old you can manage their weight without them realising they are on a diet. From birth to puberty, children put on weight every year, in line with their growth

How can I help my child to lose weight?

From birth to puberty, children put on weight every year, in line with their growth.  It is quite normal for a child to gain 5-6kg i.e. about a stone, in a year. Unless you child is obese, it is probably enough just to keep their weight stable. They will grow taller and their extra weight will be distributed over her larger frame.

You should weigh your child; make it a game, think of an excuse for asking them to stand on the scales. There is a recommended range of calories needed by children of various ages.  For example a girl aged between 7-10 years old needs about 1700 calories a day.

Take the middle of the range for your child and see they eat that many calories a day. On school days, you can pack a lunch for your child or ask them what they ate at lunch and make an estimate using a calorie book of how many calories they ate. You then need to adjust your evening meal accordingly.

Don't stop your child eating the occasional chocolate bar or chips but ensure you include them religiously into their daily allowance. If you weigh your child again at the end of a week, you can see if you need to increase or decrease their calories in order to keep their weight stable or to lose a little if it is really necessary.

You will soon develop a pattern, i.e. your child is likely to eat roughly the same breakfast every day and you will know how many calories there are in the meals you prepare regularly.  Calories can be easily lowered by cutting down on the rice, bread and pasta components of your evening meal and by substituting fresh fruit for desserts.

A weight loss of ½ kg or 1lb a week is the ideal amount of weight to aim at. To achieve this, you need to cut your child's calorie intake by 500 calories a day. That is equivalent to a 100g bowl of muesli, or a large Mars bar.

It is vital to have a notebook so that you can write down exactly how many calories your child is eating.  If your child is cooperating with you, this will be a lot easier.

Don't weigh your child more than once a week.  Day-to-day fluctuations in weight can be disheartening.

Always praise your child when she loses weight and try to provide some little rewards.

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