Parenting Tips /

Heavy Isn’t Healthy for Kids

When it comes to achieving healthy weight, many people turn to easy ‘solutions’ such as weight loss supplements, special diets and more. However, the best solution is still ‘the old school’ remedy of good nutrition, which still remains relevant today in helping children (and adults!) achieve and maintain their healthy weight.

Therefore, it’s timely to revisit our Ministry of Health’s Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents. Following these tips also have the additional benefit of instilling good healthy habits in your children that will serve them for the rest of their lives:

Eat based on the Malaysian Food Pyramid.

Follow the recommended portion sizes to ensure that your children do not eat too much or too little of each type of food.

Offer a variety of different foods within each food group (especially fruits and vegetables).

This will optimize the types and amount of nutrients your children will get from each meal. Variety also makes mealtimes fun!

Serve fruits and vegetables every day.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and unique protective substances called phytonutrients. Thus, the Ministry of Health recommends two servings of fruits and two servings of vegetables every day for children below 7 years old. Choose fresh fruits over canned ones and fruit juices. Also, serve different coloured fruits and vegetables to optimize the types and amount of nutrients your child will get.

Give your children milk and/or dairy products every day.

Milk is a healthy nutritious beverage that helps to supplement your children’s daily nutritional needs (especially calcium and vitamin D – good for strong bones and teeth). Growing up milk is a convenient option. You can also use it to prepare healthy cookies, shakes and more.

For more details, you can view the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents.

This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of HealthToday.