A doctor knows how to measure your child’s total health. They can compare your child’s height and weight to other kids in his or her age group and help you develop an age-appropriate plan that guides a safe and consistent path to a healthy lifestyle specific to your child’s needs.
You help your child stay physically active. You set a good example by eating right and serving healthy foods. Make sure their total health is on track with a visit to your pediatrician.
Ask Your Doctor
Healthcare providers look at key measurements like Body Mass Index (BMI) to see whether your child is at risk for weight-related health problems. Monitoring these key measurements makes your doctor the best person to decide whether your child’s lifestyle is truly the healthiest fit for him or her. Since each child is different and changes and grows so quickly, use these professionals as your resource to stay current on your child’s developing body.
- “How is my child’s weight?” Your child may need to lose weight, gain weight, or be encouraged to maintain his or her current weight in relation to their age and height.
- “What is my child’s BMI?” Make sure your healthcare provider is tracking your child’s BMI and find out how often they would like to monitor it.
- “How often should we visit?”
Tell Your Doctor
Tell your child’s healthcare provider if there is a history of disease in your family, especially if it is weight-related. If there is diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol in your family, let your doctor know. Your child might be at a higher risk for these diseases when he or she grows up.
Inform your healthcare provider of your family’s and child’s eating habits, physical activity levels, and give them a look into your general day-in-the-life. This will help your doctor determine if there are any specific areas your family can improve to live healthier.
Make a Plan
Once you establish the basics of your child’s health and weight, you need to develop a plan to put your family on track for wellness. Use your healthcare provider as a resource for guidance. Let your doctor help you determine what your family’s diet should look like and if you should be eating more or less or different types of foods.
Make a plan of action for physical activity and ask your doctor what type and intensity of activities are best for your child’s fitness levels and fitness goals. After you set a plan to eat better and move more, ask “What’s next?” to get your child to a healthy weight or keep them at their healthy weight.
Professional Prevention and Treatment
Our Healthier Generation Benefit provides eligible children four follow-up visits with a primary care provider and four visits with a registered dietitian every year. By working together, doctors and registered dietitians are helping children and their families adopt healthier lifestyle habits to improve their health and weight.