Maintaining a healthy weight and proper nutrition is essential for children of all ages. Developing babies and adolescents need a balanced diet and adequate exercise to continue growing well. At Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA, we strive to provide helpful information to parents and teens for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Weight Management & Nutritional Counseling Q & A
How can I tell if my child is at a healthy weight?
Children can be a variety of shapes and sizes. A percentile chart is used to determine if a child is at a normal height and weight for their age. From these measurements, the body mass index (BMI) is calculated which can be an indicator of appropriate weight. These measurements provide a baseline for analysis. Together with information on diet and exercise habits, the pediatrician can determine if your child is maintaining a healthy weight.
What are the risks associated with being over or underweight?
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for optimal physical and emotional development. Even at an early age, overweight children are at risk for developing diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea. On the opposite end of the spectrum, underweight children are at risk for malnutrition and developmental delays. An unhealthy weight can limit a child’s participation in age-appropriate sports and activities. Weight issues can also cause children to feel isolated from their peers, depressed, or anxious about social gatherings.
What is nutritional counseling?
Nutritional counseling helps parents and adolescents understand the growing body’s nutritional and caloric needs. For parents of young children, our pediatricians provide guidance for what and how much your child should eat. Topics ranging from picky eating to managing portion sizes can also be discussed. For adolescents, we provide nutritional education to establish healthy eating habits that can be maintained through adulthood. With so many sources of information around, it is important to speak to a doctor for advice on your child’s nutritional needs. Lifestyle adjustments may be suggested to maintain a healthy weight.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s weight and how it can affect his or her health,contact Columbia Pediatrics for an appointment or consultation.