Therapeutic diet for obese children and teenagers must be maximally varied, including all the main food groups:
• Meat and seafood
• Fish and fish products
• milk and dairy
• fruit and vegetables
• bread and bakery products
• cereals, pasta and beans
• dietary fat
• sweets and confectionary (strictly limited)
Only a varied diet can provide a child’s body with essential and nonessential nutrients. The most important points of diet therapy for children are:
• restriction of total fat in the diet
• optimization of fatty and acid composition in the diet
• reduction of saturated fat in the diet
• increase in consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids
The total amount of fat in the diet can be reduced by adding foods with medium amount of fat into the diet.
1. Obese children should drink milk and fermented milk products (kefir, yogurt) containing 2.5% fat maximum.
2. Parents should cook meat dishes for their overweight children from fat-free beef, poultry and rabbit.
3. Dietary fat from the daily diet of an obese child should consist of vegetable fat at least by 30%.
4. An important source of polyunsaturated fatty acids in a child’s diet should be fish (herring, salmon and trout).
The important point of diet for overweight children is to limit the consumption of salt. Physiological need of a child’s body is just 5 g of salt per day. Therefore, you should cook foods without adding salt into it and limit foods that are high in salt (canned meat and fish, cheese and sausages).
In addition, children’s diet should contains different fruit and vegetables with plenty of important nutrients. Consumption of sufficient amount of fruit and vegetables helps to:
• Absorb and digest other products
• Normalize intestinal peristalsis
• Reduce the blood cholesterol
• Normalize bile secretion
Overweight children are not recommended to eat fried food. Thus, they need to be taught to eat boiled and steamed food, cooked with no butter and oil, or with minimal amount of dietary fat.
One of the universal components of the weight loss program is monitoring and records of consumed food. Once the diet therapy was started, it is necessary to keep a dietary diary, recording the number of calories and level of physical activity. Actually, both children and parents can keep the dietary diary.
Analyzing data from the diary, you can see some unexpected factors that help to increase the effectiveness of weight loss program.
School-age children, who suffer from obesity, can be prescribed 1 fasting day a week in addition to hypocaloric diet. The daily caloric value during such days must not exceed 1000 kcal.