Weight gain is possible with many medications, but by following these tips, you can help both prevent and manage medication-related weight gain in children and adolescents:
Keep a journal
If possible, at the start of your child’s medication treatment, record everything i.e. their Body Mass Index (BMI), weight, waistline measurement and track any blood work ordered to keep an eye on blood glucose, cholesterol etc.. Also, keep some notes on any dips/spikes in appetite that your child experiences. By having a dated account of everything you’ll know what changes have occurred, and it’s good health information for your child’s health practitioner as well.
Be a good role model
Without a doubt, the best way to help manage your child’s weight issues is for them to watch you eat healthy, unprocessed foods. It really does help to remove the temptation, so remove the processed junk food, the sugary pop and chips from the house. Replace that temptation with delicious and healthy food and then have your child help you in the kitchen make up snack bags for the week. There are lots of specialty blogs online that offer creative ways to get more healthy vegetables into childrens’ meals without them even knowing.
Be smart about mealtime
Everyone is so busy, many of us are on an eat-and-go schedule—eating fast and in the car to another activity! As much as possible take the time for a “family” meal—and not in front of the TV. Schedule regular times to gather around the dinner table and with a planned menu (which includes portion control). An important skill to instil in your child now is to practice mindful eating; taking the time to taste everything and chewing food more slowly.
Burn more calories
There are a number of ways to increase your child’s activity level and better their health: at the top of the list is limiting screen time (TV, computer etc..); share the exercise and take an after-dinner walk together (you can download a pedometer app or buy an inexpensive one); along these same lines, on the weekend, actively encourage activities that your child already loves i.e. sports, playing outdoors, dancing, Karate etc..
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