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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Watching the weight of a preschooler?

    Our 5 year old son is much chubbeier than other children his age. We are well aware that obesity can begin at early stages and would like to take action as early as possible. What is the best way to help manage a 5 year old's weight?
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  • I am a dietitian/nutritionist with extensive research experience into diet/nutrition and children’s behaviour; Mediterranean-style whole food diet; and parental influences on young children’s diets. In … View Profile

    You are correct that obesity is an increasing problem with children; however it is not the weight that is the issue so much as your child's health. Rather than worrying about weight loss per se it is most beneficial to focus on providing a healthy, balanced diet that is high in nutritious foods such as fruit and vegetables whole grains and cereals and regular meals including a healthy breakfast each day; and low in foods that are non-nutritious and energy dense such as processed food high in sugar and fat, soft drinks, cakes etc. Create a positive food environment at home with regular healthy home cooked meals; keeping healthy snacks in the fridge and pantry (e.g. fruit and nuts); provide water rather than soft drinks. Exercise also has numerous benefits for physical and psychological health at all ages, especially for a growing child; get him involved in activities that he enjoys, walks and bike rides with the family etc. You may find this resource by the CSIRO very helpful: "The CSIRO presents a step-by-step healthy eating and activity plan for families, based on extensive research. Find out: *What are healthy foods for kids; *How to encourage kids to be active; *How to motivate your kids to make changes that will last; *How to organise yourself as a parent to make healthy living a reality. Packed with easy-to-follow advice and more than 100 delicious recipes for stress-free family cooking, The CSIRO Wellbeing Plan for Kids is your complete guide to helping your children on the road to a lifetime of good health."

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