Healthy Weight For Children - What You Need To Know!

Healthy Weight

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Are you worried whether your child’s weight is healthy or not? Do you feel your child is eating healthy but may not have the ideal weight? Do you want to measure your child’s ideal weight according to height and age and know how to improve it if needed?

If you are looking at any of the above questions, read on to find more on healthy weight for children and what your child’s ideal weight should be.

What Is BMI?

BMI is the short form of Body Mass Index. It is a measurement that is used to calculate your child’s weight and height. It can accurately tell you the amount of fat that your child has in his body and correlates to the direct measure of your child’s body fat. In case of your child, BMI will be age and gender specific and is mostly referred to as BMI for age.

What Is BMI Percentile?

Once the BMI is calculated, the BMI number is measured on BMI for age charts to get a percentile ranking. It is the most common indicator to check the size and growth pattern of your child. The growth chart will show you whether your child is underweight, has a healthy weight, is overweight or is obese.

[ Read: Iron Rich Foods For Kids ]

How To Use BMI For Your Child?

BMI calculator is recommended to be used from children who are two years and above. BMI will not clearly indicate whether your child is healthy or not. Your child may have a high BMI count as per his age and gender. To understand whether or not he has any excess weight and how much excess weight can cause a health issue, you should get your child diagnosed by a health care provider. The doctor may check for other factors like the measurements of skinfold thickness, evaluation of your child’s diet, your child’s family medical and health history, your child’s level of physical activity and other such related health screenings. [1]

Before you calculate your child’s BMI, you have to accurately measure the height and weight at home. Here is how you can do it at home:

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How To Measure Your Child’s Height Accurately At Home:

  • Make sure you remove your child’s shoes, any heavy clothing or hair decorations. Also, if your child’s hair is braided, open it so that it does not interfere with any measurements. [2]
  • Let your child stand on the bare floor, one that does not have a carpet or rug over it. Your child has to stand along the wall especially one that has no molding.
  • Ask your child to stand with their feet placed flat and together against a wall. Your child’s legs should be straight, arms should be at the sides and the shoulders should be level.
  • Your child should be looking ahead and the line of sight should be parallel to the floor.
  • Take your child’s measurements in such a way that the shoulders, head, heels and buttocks touch the flat surface of the wall. Not all parts of your child’s body may touch the wall depending on the body shape.
  • Take a flat headpiece and use it to make a right angle along the wall. Bring the headpiece down till it firmly touches your child’s crown of the head.
  • Your eyes should be at the same level as that of the headpiece.
  • Make a light mark where the bottom part of the headpiece connects to the wall. Using a metal tape, start the measurement from the base at the floor. Take it to the marked measure on the wall to get your child’s height measurement.
  • You have to record your child’s height accurately to the nearest 1/8th inch or to a 0.1 centimeter.

[ Read: Foods For Increasing Height In Children ]

How To Measure Your Child Healthy Weight Accurately At Home:

  • To measure your child’s weight at home, use a digital scale. Do not use a bathroom scale that is loaded with spring. Place it on the floor on a firm surface without a carpet or a rug. [3]
  • Make sure your child removes any shoes or heavy clothing like jackets or sweaters.
  • Your child has to stand with both the feet in the center of the weighing scale.
  • You have to record your healthy child weight accurately to the nearest decimal fraction.

[ Read: Healthy Food For Children To Gain Weight ]

How To Calculate And Interpret BMI For Your Child:

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it is recommended that you use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to check for obesity and overweight numbers if your child is between the ages of 2 and 19.

Follow the steps mentioned below to rightfully calculate and interpret your child’s BMI count by using the BMI Percentile Calculator:

  • Check your child’s accurate height and weight by following the steps mentioned above.
  • Next, calculate your child’s BMI and percentile by following the child BMI calculator here.
  • Now check the BMI for age percentile that you calculated according to the results. The BMI for age percentile will help to interpret the BMI number because it is both gender and age specific. The age and gender criteria are taken into consideration because the amount of body fat changes as per age. Also, the amount of body fat is different for boys and girls.
  • Check the information shared below to find the weight status category according to the calculated BMI for age percentile.
Weight Status CategoryPercentile Range
UnderweightLess than the 5th percentile
Healthy weight5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile
Overweight85th to less than the 95th percentile
ObeseEqual to or greater than the 95th percentile

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Ideal Healthy Weight Chart For Children:

Average Height And Weights for Boys
AgeAverage HeightAverage Weight
1 Year Old28-29 inches22 lbs
13 Months22.27 Pounds
14 Months22.82 Pounds
15 Months23.26 Pounds
16 Months23.7 Pounds
17 Months24.14 Pounds
18 Months24.58 Pounds
19 Months25.02 Pounds
20 Months25.35 Pounds
21 Months25.79 Pounds
22 Months26.12 Pounds
23 Months26.57 Pounds
2 Years Old31 inches28.4 lbs
3 Years Old33 inches33 lbs
4 Years Old37 inches35-37 lbs
5 Years Old40 inches41.8 lbs
6 Years Old42 inches46.2 lbs
7 Years Old44 inches50.6 lbs
8 Years Old45 inches57.2 lbs
9 Years Old49 inches61.6 lbs
10 Years Old51 inches70.4 lbs
11 Years Old52 inches77 lbs
Average Height And Weight For Girls
AgeAverage HeightAverage Weight
1 Year Old28-29inches21.76 lbs.
13 Months22.27 Pounds
14 Months22.82 Pounds
15 Months23.26 Pounds
16 Months23.7 Pounds
17 Months24.14 Pounds
18 Months24.58 Pounds
19 Months25.02 Pounds
20 Months25.35 Pounds
21 Months25.79 Pounds
22 Months26.12 Pounds
23 Months26.57 Pounds
2 Years Old30 inches28.4 lbs.
3 Years Old33 inches30.8 lbs.
4 Years Old37 inches35.2 lbs.
5 Years Old40 inches39.6 lbs.
6 Years Old41 inches46.2 lbs.
7 Years Old43 inches50.6 lbs.
8 Years Old45 inches57.2 lbs.
9 Years Old47 inches63.8 lbs.
10 Years Old51 inches70.4 lbs.
11 Years Old52 inches79.2 lbs.

Easy Tips To Maintain A Healthy Weight In Your Child:

Here are a few easy and effective ways that will help your child maintain a healthy weight for children:

  • Ensure your child eats a balanced diet every day. Combine it with regular exercise.
  • Provide healthy eating options at home so that your child makes better eating choices.
  • Encourage your child to have fruits, salads and nuts for snacks instead of junk or ready to eat processed foods.

Follow the steps mentioned above to calculate your child’s BMI and also to ensure that your child is able to maintain a healthy weight.

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Debolina Raja