The excess weight in children is one of the largest current concerns. Proportions that affect 505 of the child population of both girls and boys aged between 6 and 9 denote a public health problem that affects not only the medical problems that may arise at that age, but the Medical problems that this population group will suffer as adults.
At this stage, food habits are consolidated, and in this process educational factors are of central importance both within the family and at school. In the formation of taste for certain foods, and therefore of eating habits, genetic and environmental factors or cultural factors, which are sometimes difficult to distinguish between them, are involved.
The environmental factors on which it is possible to intervene are, mainly, intragroup social transmission, familiar or not. Within seconds the influence of peers and the importance of imitation play an essential role.
In addition, in the course of the socialization process the child is able to incorporate new eating habits that act on the family’s feeding practices. That is why it is essential for the family to be able to create healthy eating habits in their child and that the child receives in the school the support and sufficient instruction to develop or modify them in case they are not correct.
The role of the school is fundamental, and it must be ensured that it is adequately fulfilled through nutritional education programs integrated within the regulated teachings and through the school cafeteria, which should be an instrument of health education. In this way the child learns that his health depends, in part, on his eating behavior and can improve dietary habits and reach a better nutritional status to adulthood.
The recommendations that can be made regarding food consumption both in childhood and adolescence are:
- Make breakfast at home, including dairy as much as cereals and fruit, to ensure the sufficient energy supply that allows children and children to cope with learning tasks.
- Increase the consumption of dairy products and off-breakfast that ensure the necessary supply of calcium and other trace elements.
- Make five meals a day, being breakfast, lunch and dinner, the three main ones that are complemented with two shots in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
- Alternate the consumption of lean and lean meats and blue and white fish accompanied with garnishes of vegetables and vegetables.
- Do not neglect the consumption of legumes and rice as the main meal, from lentils, chickpeas and beans in their different forms of presentation and preparation.
- Consuming 5 servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, it is preferable that the consumption of these foods is made in raw to avoid nutrient losses that may be the culinary treatment.
- It is imperative that the main meals are attempted in the family.
In the prevention of childhood obesity, in addition to taking into account the dissemination of healthy habits, we must also promote the practice of physical activity. We will avoid that our children are sitting for a long time, we can climb the stairs of house with them, we will limit the time of television and computer, we will schedule physical activities during the weekend, we will reinforce the physical activity in familiar, etc.
The intention is to create a family environment in which physical activity is part of everyday life. The benefits will be plausible in a short time for both our children and us.