Visit Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Section ⇒

X
Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Keeping Kids Slim, Fit During Lockdown Isn't Easy: Here Are Some Tips

Keeping Kids Slim, Fit During Lockdown Isn't Easy: Here Are Some Tips

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Lots of TV time, no PE classes, and a fridge full of food: It's a recipe for weight gain for kids under "stay at home" rules.

But there are ways parents can help them stay healthy, says registered dietitian Audrey Koltun.

"During quarantine, we hear we should try to stay healthy, not overeat, and exercise, but it is easier said than done," said Koltun, who's also a diabetes care and education specialist at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

When it comes to kids' diets, having to stay at home might have some advantages, she noted.

"Many people are cooking much more than they ever did," Koltun said, and "this allows more control over caloric intake and possibly healthier options."

Children just don't have the same access to fast food or fattening snacks. "The kids that go out to get an 800-calorie smoothie, a 400-calorie iced coffee, or a 500-calorie slice of pizza are not having this now -- or not as much," Koltun said.

But if chips, cookies and other snacks crowd kitchen cupboards, the battle against weight gain can easily be lost, the nutritionist stressed.

"Your kids can only eat what you buy, so if you are buying a year's worth of snacks, they will eat them all day and night," she said. While chowing down on unhealthy snacks might seem comforting, "these foods are addicting and hard to stop eating," Koltun said.

Her advice: "Make a family plan. Plan ahead for meals, plan for exercise, plan for junk food. We need structure."

Turning quarantine into a goal-setting opportunity for health could be key.

"Have a family meeting to discuss there is going to be a new plan to try to eat healthier and to exercise," Koltun suggested. "Make a grocery list and plan the meals for the week. Try to be consistent with meal and snack times. Eat at least one meal together. Make a list of snacks: healthy and unhealthy."

On the healthy snacks list: fruits, vegetables with a dip, guacamole or hummus, nuts, light popcorn, lower-sugar yogurts, yogurt parfaits, homemade smoothies -- there are many options, Koltun said.

Letting kids choose those healthy snacks makes it more likely these foods will get eaten, she said. And a total ban on fatty or sugary foods isn't necessary.

Instead, "have the kids choose what healthy snacks they want in the house and keep these in the front of the refrigerator or cabinet. Limit treats to one salty snack and one sweet snack to have each day, at most," Koltun said.

As for drinks, "keep sugary drinks out of the house -- soda, sweet tea, fruit juice, punch, lemonade, sports drinks," Koltun said. "Water, seltzer and low-fat/fat-free milk are better choices."

And don't forget the other half of the healthy lifestyle mix: exercise.

"For exercise, make a plan to get up and move every day for a minimum commitment of 15 minutes to start, if possible," Koltun said. "Physical activity should be scheduled. This can be taking a walk, jumping on a trampoline, online videos, going up and down stairs, even dancing."

More information

There's more on helping kids eat right and stay slim at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

SOURCE: Audrey Koltun, R.D.N., registered dietitian/nutritionist, diabetes care and education specialist, Pediatric Endocrinology, Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Health Tips
A Chubby Baby Is Not a Sign of Future Obesity
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Medicines Rising on College Campuses
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
How Old Is "Old Enough" for Contacts?
It’s Snow Fun: Skiing and Snowboarding
Making Family Fitness Fun
Parenting Déjà vu: Raising Your Grandchildren
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Strength Training at Home
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking About Sex with Your Teen
Quizzes
Swimming Quiz
Prevention
Prevention Guidelines for Men 18 to 39
Prevention Guidelines for Women 18 to 39
Prevention Guidelines for Women 40 to 49
Prevention Guidelines for Women 50 to 64
Prevention Guidelines for Women 65+
Prevention Guidelines, Ages 2 to 18
NewsLetters
4 Ways to Improve Your Workout and the Environment at the Same Time
Does Mommy Wine Culture Pose Health Risks?
Elevate Your Outdoor Workout
Hot, Hot, Hot! Exercise Safely in Summer
Obesity’s Gender Divide: Health Effects Differ for Men, Women
Real World Tips on Being a Healthy Parent
Diseases & Conditions
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Discipline
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Exercise and Children
Exercise and Teenagers
Firearms
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Obesity in Teens
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries of the Face and Head- Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.