28 February 2022

How to support your child if you are concerned about their weight

It can be difficult to watch your child struggling with their weight. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to help your children – especially when they are stressed. Here are some ways to help support your child if you are worried that their weight may be affecting their health and well-being. If you are concerned about your child’s…, Avoid blame , Young people can gain weight due to several reasons outside of their control or individual behaviour, often with complex causes. Children who struggle with their weight frequently experience bias, stigma and bullying. It’s critical to stay away from blaming your child, and instead try to understand the structural issues at play that encourage…, Have healthy conversations, In a fast-changing digital landscape, it is important to remain aware of threats to the mental health and well-being of your child as it relates to their confidence and body image issues. These can range from social media posts stereotyping weight or encouraging eating disorders, to the constant corporate marketing of unhealthy junk food targeting…, Focus on healthy behaviours, Unless advised by a health professional, focus on “health and a healthy goals” rather than weight loss. Healthy eating and physical activity behaviours do not become routine overnight. It takes time, effort and perseverance from you and your child to make changes that last. Any big, sudden alterations to your child’s diet and lifestyle are…
28 February 2022

How to raise a healthy eater

Good food and nutrition are the foundation of children’s health and bring benefits that can last a lifetime. Teaching your child about healthy eating from a young age will help them to have a positive relationship with food well into adulthood. And believe it or not, shaping these habits can be fun and healthy – not just for your child, but your…, 1. Promote positive habits, Your little ones watch everything you do – including at mealtime. You can be a good role model by reaching for healthy foods, beverages and snacks yourself, and engaging in fun physical activity. Choosing to put healthy, whole foods on the table sets a great example for your child. Try including your children in food shopping and preparation. They…, 2. Maintain a healthy relationship with food, Having a healthy mindset around eating is key for lifelong health and protecting against illnesses like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. You can help guide your young child by: Helping them understand whether they are physically hungry. This will help them to become in tune with their body’s needs. Staying away from using food as a reward or…, 3. Let go of “clean your plate!”, Although you might think this could help your child get the nutrients needed from food, these behaviours can lead to disliking foods and having negative associations with mealtime. If you can’t get your child to eat their veggies, try to have them see you eating and enjoying them yourself. Your little one learns about food choices from you, so try…, 4. Make portion control a priority, Oversized portions can lead to weight gain, so it is important to teach your children about how much food they should have on their plate. An easy way to teach your child about child-portion sizes is to use visuals for example: A closed fist is recommended for a portion of pasta, rice or cereal. A meat portion should be about as big as their palm…, 5. Start the day with a healthy breakfast, Mornings can be a rush for many families, but starting the day with a balanced meal helps your child get the important nutrients – such as calcium and fibre – needed for their growth and development. Try to create breakfasts with nutrient-dense ingredients like plain yoghurt and fresh fruit instead of sweetened cereals or pastries, which tend to…, 6. Make activity fun, Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Why not join in the fun? Try to plan family activities that get everyone moving such as after-dinner walks or swimming. And be spontaneous when you see an opportunity, like dancing together when a favourite song comes on the radio. It is also important to encourage your child to limit…
16 December 2021

COVID-19 and the holidays: How to reduce your risk

Planning a trip or end-of-year celebration? For many people, this time of year is associated with gatherings of family and friends, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the new  Omicron variant  raise many questions on how to stay safe. Whatever you have planned for the coming weeks, we hope these tips help you and your family enjoy a healthy…, Be risk aware, The level of risk depends greatly on where you live. Follow guidance from your local authorities and stay informed about COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates in your area. In places with low rates of COVID-19 transmission and high rates of vaccination, there is less risk for fully vaccinated people, but unvaccinated people, including…, Get vaccinated, WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have been shown to be highly effective at protecting against severe illness and death from COVID-19. The vaccines also help to protect those around you. No vaccine offers 100 per cent protection though, so it is important to continue taking precautions to protect yourself and others even once vaccinated…, If you are feeling ill, stay home, Do not attend or host gatherings if you or someone in your family is sick or has symptoms of COVID-19. Stay home, seek medical advice and help stop the spread of COVID-19.  , Consider any travel plans carefully, All travel comes with some risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Before you travel, check if COVID-19 is spreading in your local area and in any of the places you are going. Do not travel if you or your family are sick, have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Unvaccinated family members who are…, Take precautions while in public , Here are some of the key precautions you and your family can take when outside: Avoid crowded places, confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation, and try to practice physical distancing from people in public, keeping at least 1 metre distance between yourself and others Wear masks when in public places where COVID-19 is widespread and…, Avoid large gatherings, Crowded, confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation and mass gatherings such as concerts, events and parties can be especially risky. If possible, outdoor gatherings are safer. If you are planning a get together with friends and family from different households, consider taking extra precautions before you meet, such as taking a COVID-19…, Consider the needs of your loved ones, The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone and many people will be worried about being around groups of people, even their loved ones. If possible, try reaching out to your friends and relatives before meeting to see how they are doing and to talk about any concerns. Consider postponing any visits to unvaccinated family members or…