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Is your kid obsessed with dieting?

Girls have only just put aside their Barbies or horse books and already it seems as if they have changed completely. Eyelash curlers, eye shadow and fashionable clothes are now “the in thing”. More and more often little ones stand in front of the mirror and look doubtfully at their own figures. Ice-cream and chocolate are now taboo, figure killers. This becomes critical, however, when teenagers start to diet.

Is your kid obsessed with dieting?

There shouldn’t need to be a contradiction between adolescence and a good figure.

What is too much? What is too little? Put this to the test. Our BMI Calculator for Children allows you to monitor your child’s weight better. All you need is your child’s age, weight and height. Dieting to reach an ideal weight is dangerous during adolescence, even if needed for sport. Teens need plenty of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. These are the building materials of bones and muscles. Furthermore, those who eat too little are easily irritated and unbalanced. So: calorie counting and diets are out and food and plenty of exercise are in.

Sport gives self-confidence

You know from experience that little is gained from bans and restrictions. Teens find it easiest to keep a healthy lifestyle if the whole family gets involved in having a healthy, balanced diet and in playing sport. Role models are particularly important at this age. Our Nutritional Pyramid shows you how a healthy diet should look. Get your child interested in playing sport, preferably with friends. Sport turns thoughts away from weight, promotes self-confidence and good health and builds up muscles. In addition scores of calories can also be hidden in cooking: use high-quality vegetable oils such as THOMY Pure Sunflower Oil in salad dressings and over vegetables. Or cook their favourite meal more often, but don’t forget to add variety to stimulate their appetite. You can find more practical tips in our article “Diets for Slimming”.

My child doesn’t want to eat anything at all…

Is your kid obsessed with dieting? Many parents complain about their children’s fussy eating. There is a power struggle with food during puberty in particular. Children quickly realise how important it is to their parents that they have a well-balanced diet and eat enough. In this case the only phrase that helps, and which should see you through puberty, is: “keep calm.”Ensure that family mealtimes are harmonious and pleasurable. Everyone will soon be hungry. Our tips:

  • Eat at a table together without being distracted by the TV, music or telephone
  • Avoid arguing at the table
  • Hand out drinks with the meal or after, not before.

Though teens do pay attention to their figure, they cannot resist temptation. Tempt your child with irresistible things such as

  • a week of eating what they like, with all their favourite meals
  • an invitation to the ice-cream parlour
  • a tea party with friends

Keep your eyes open

Teenage diets are often the starting point for eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. So watch your child carefully but without interfering. If self-critical comments about weight become a habit, you should speak to a doctor or psychologist as a precaution.