Let’s get active! Tips to help your child maintain a healthy weight

Know the facts!

Know the facts!

  • More than one in four children and youth in Canada are overweight or obese.
  • Many overweight and obese children become obese adults.
  • Obesity tends to run in the family. It is partly genetic but largely linked to lifestyle habits (poor food choices, little or no physical activity, poor sleep habits, etc.)
  • Childhood obesity increases your child’s risk of developing diseases such as:
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • High blood pressure and heart disease
    • Sleep problems (sleep apnea)
    • Asthma
    • Gallstones
    • Joint problems
    • Psychological problems (low self-esteem, depression, anxiety)
Body Mass Index (BMI)
What is BMI?

What is BMI?

BMI is a measure of body fat. It is based on a child’s weight in relation to his height. A doctor should regularly plot a child’s BMI on a growth curve, taking into account his age and gender.
As your child grows, the BMI is a good way to assess if he is maintaining a healthy weight.
Why is BMI important?

Why is BMI important?

By measuring a child’s BMI and monitoring his physical activity, nutrition, and sleeping habits throughout childhood and adolescence, parents and doctors can recognize when the child is at risk of becoming overweight or obese. You and your child can then make changes early to control weight gain and to prevent future complications.
Recommendations for healthy active living are as easy as 5-2-1-0

Recommendations for healthy active living are as easy as 5-2-1-0

Parents are role models for their children; healthy lifestyle habits start with you!

 Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

 Limit screen time (television, computer, video games) to less than two hours per day.

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 Aim for at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.

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 Limit or avoid sugar-sweetened drinks such as soft drinks, sport drinks and sugar-sweetened juices.
Tips for your family

Tips for your family

Healthy diet choices

Healthy diet choices

  • Eat vegetables and/or fruits at every meal and snack.
  • Buy fish and lean meats, such as chicken and beef. Grill or roast meat to reduce fat.
  • Eat low-fat dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese. For example, switch from 3.25% milk to 2% or 1% milk.

Remember, as a parent, you control what you buy and what food is available at home.

  • Drink water or milk instead of juice, sugar-sweetened drinks or sport drinks.
  • Eat a piece of fruit or vegetable rather than drinking fruit or vegetable juice.
  • If you do drink juice, choose 100% pure fruit juice with no added sugar. (Maximum of five ounces or 150 ml per day for children under six years of age, and 12 ounces or 360 ml per day for children six years of age and older).
  • Choose vegetable oils such as olive, canola, and soy bean oil instead of butter, margarine, lard and shortening.
  • Include high fibre and whole grain foods such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, peas, and bran cereal in your diet.
  • Learn how to read food labels. This will help you make better choices.
Healthy eating habits

Healthy eating habits

  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Don’t skip meals.
  • Prepare and eat meals at home, as a family.
  • Limit fast food, take-out food, and eating at restaurants.
  • Avoid keeping sugar-sweetened beverages, candies, and high-sugar snacks in your home.

For more helpful hints, consult our brochure.