Weight management

Changing the food and drink that we regularly consume or becoming more active, to help reduce further weight gain or help support some weight loss is incredibly tough. Many adults find this difficult to do and it is not any easier for children. As dietitians we often see children whose parents simply don’t realize just where all the calories that their child is eating are coming from and how this is contributing to their weight.

If you don’t know what to change, it is very hard to make meaningful changes. We have also become accustomed to children being heavier, which can change our perception of what is healthy and appropriate. Very often families don’t realise how heavy their child has become because lots of children around them are also too heavy.

There are often some quite simple changes that can help stabilise a childs weight. Very often the focus is preventing further weight gain and allowing the child to continue to grow allowing them their height and weight to be more balanced or for them to be in better proportion.

Rapid weight change is not expected and should not be the aim for most children. The aim is to adopt a healthier eating pattern and lifestyle, which takes time. Only once you have been doing something for a long time does it become part of normal family life. You child’s weight is unlikely to change quickly but by making small changes and sticking with them you are supporting them to be healthier now and to make healthier choices in the future.

We have included links below that offer supporting information that should help you better understand your child’s eating and how to support them with their weight. Start by thinking about what is causing their weight to increase and then plan small changes that can be maintained.

You can also find further advice and support on the NHS website Advice for parents of overweight children - NHS (www.nhs.uk).

If your child is quite fussy about what they like to eat, then you may find further information within the Understanding Eating and Supporting Change section within our Resources Hub.