Healthy Weight In Children - All You Need To Know!

Healthy Weight In Children

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“He is a littttttttle plump.” Kate dreaded these words. Every time she took her six-year-old son out, people would say this and go on to give her advice on how she can make her child lose some weight. Did that mean that she didn’t know that her son was overweight or she wasn’t doing anything to make him lose weight? She would feel depressed and helpless.

Keeping track of your child’s height and weight is a good idea. It will help you understand if the kid is growing the right way or you need to take some corrective measures. MomJunction shares with you the details about healthy weight for children, their BMI and what you can do to make your child maintain a healthy weight.

A child’s weight can be assessed using the BMI.

What Is BMI?

BMI or Body Mass Index, is a measurement used to calculate your child’s weight and height. It tells you about the amount of fat that your child has in his body. BMI will be age and gender specific and is mostly referred to as BMI for age.

[ Read: Foods To Gain Weight For Kids ]

What Is BMI Percentile?

Once the BMI is calculated, it is measured by 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. However, it does not clearly indicate if your child is healthy or not.

How To Use BMI For Your Child?

The BMI calculator is recommended for children who are two years and above (1). Your child may have a high BMI count but to know if that indicates a health issue, you should get your child diagnosed by a healthcare provider. The doctor may check for other factors such as the measurements of skinfold thickness, your child’s diet, his level of physical activity, your family medical and health history, and other related issues.

So, do we have certain parameters to compare a child’s growth? Yes.

[ Read: Risks Of Sudden Weight Gain In Children ]

Ideal Healthy Weight Chart For Children:

The ideal weight differs between boys and girls.

Average height and weight for boys:

AgeAverage HeightAverage Weight
1 year old29.8 inches21.3 lbs
2 years old34.2 inches27.5 lbs
3 years old37.5 inches31 lbs
4 years old40.3 inches36 lbs
5 years old43 inches40.5 lbs
6 years old45.4 inches45.5 lbs
7 years old48 inches50.5 lbs
8 years old50.4 inches56.5 lbs
9 years old52.5inches63 lbs
10 years old54.5inches70.5 lbs
11 years old56.5inches78.5 lbs
12 years old58.7inches88.0 lbs
13 years old61.5 inches100 lbs
14 years old64.5 inches112 lbs
15 years old67 inches123.5 lbs
16 years old68.3 inches134 lbs
17 years old69 inches142 lbs
18 years old69.2 inches147.5 lbs

Average height and weight for girls:

AgeAverage HeightAverage Weight
1 year old29.2 inches20. 4 lbs
2 years old33.7 inches26. 5 lbs
3 years old37 inches31.5 lbs
4 years old39.5 inches34 lbs
5 years old42.5 inches39.5 lbs
6 years old45.5 inches44 lbs
7 years old47.7 inches49.5 lbs
8 years old50.5 inches57 lbs
9 years old52.5 inches62 lbs
10 years old54.5 inches70.5 lbs
11 years old56.7 inches81.5 lbs
12 years old59 inches91.5 lbs
13 years old61.7 inches101 lbs
14 years old62.5 inches105 lbs
15 years old62.9 inches115 lbs
16 years old64 inches118 lbs
17 years old64 inches120 lbs
18 years old64.2 inches125 lbs

Now that you know where your child stands, you might want to maintain his BMI or improve it.

[ Read: Foods For Increasing Height In Children ]

Tips To Help Your Child Maintain A Healthy Weight:

If you are trying to help your child lose some weight, then ignore the diet books and use your instincts instead. Try to bring small changes in his diet and lifestyle. Here are some tips and guidelines that can help your child lose weight in a healthy way.

1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle:

Encourage the whole family to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Take out time to eat together at the table. According to a study, kids who eat with their family are less likely to be overweight.

2. Keep a check on the diet:

Give your child a balanced diet to provide him get the essential nutrients. Try a variety of healthy meals so that he does not get bored eating the same foods every day. A balanced diet must include fruits, vegetables, milk, dairy products, meat, nuts, and grains, especially whole-grain foods.

You must also eliminate sugary beverages like sports drinks, coffee and soda from your child’s diet. Limit fruit juice intake to one serving a day. And make sure your child drinks enough water. Teach your child to start his day with a glass of water. Bring this change gradually, not abruptly.

If your child wants to lose weight, seek your doctor’s help. He will check your child’s body mass index to estimate how much weight he needs to shed. Doctors never recommend cutting down on food for kids. He will explain to you how your child can reduce calories while getting all the necessary nutrients. He might also suggest your child to watch his portion sizes.

3. Encourage your child to be physically active:

Encourage your child to be physically active. Kids have plenty of choices when it comes to exercise and activity. They can take part in any sports or dance. Ask them to help you clean the house or rake the leaves. It is also a kind of physical activity. Reduce your child’s time in front of the computer, television and video games by an hour every day.

Apart from all these activities, children can also do weight training (2). Light and controlled movements with proper safety measures could actually have many health benefits including:

  • Improved muscle strength.
  • Better performance in a number of sports activities such as football and soccer.
  • Stronger bones.
  • Healthy blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
  • Higher confidence and self-esteem levels.
  • Better protection against sports related injuries.
  • Maintains weight

However, when it comes to weight lifting, postpone it to the end of the growth stage. Kids should avoid trying out repetitive maximal lifts until their secondary sexual characteristics have started to develop. This is to ensure that the kid has passed his maximum velocity of height growth.

[ Read: Food Pyramid For Kids ]

The Risks Of Weight Lifting In Kids:

Weight training and strength training come with a list of possible health risks, and as a parent, you may want to take them into consideration.

  • Muscle strain makes up for 40-70% of all injuries arising during strength training.
  • Injuries to the lower back, hand and the upper back are common.
  • Kids suffering from cardiomyopathy can have a worsening condition.
  • Kids who have been subjected to chemotherapy may be at an increased risk of cardiac problems if they undergo resistance training.
  • Children suffering from seizure disorders should consider avoiding weight training exercises unless they get an ‘okay’ from their doctor.
  • Overweight children and those suffering from any other major health disorder must ensure that they carry out the weight training with proper supervision and guidance (3).

Do not get worried if your child’s BMI is not matching the chart. Deviation by a few pounds is always fine. Focus on their diet and make sure that they are eating the right foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and pulses. Also, encourage them to go out and play for some physical activity. One thing that you must avoid is to body shame them as this will do no good.

How do you keep track of your child’s weight? Let us know in the comment section below.

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