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Your little one is growing up healthy and strong—that’s great news! You might also have been monitoring his height and weight, and may be curious about BMI and where your child stands.

What’s BMI anyway?

BMI, or Body Mass Index, is used to determine if children are severely overweight, overweight, of acceptable weight, underweight or severely underweight.

When comparing children of the same age and gender, a child is considered overweight if his BMI is between 85th and 95th percentile, and obese if his BMI is above the 95th percentile. The doctor will measure for BMI starting from age 2—your little one’s about there!

Related: Know Your Child's BMI

Acceptable Weight, but Be Mindful

Kids in the 75th percentile are more likely to become overweight when they are adults, as compared to their peers below the 75th percentile.

While there is no need to put your kid on a strict diet, it is important to remember that raising healthy kids involves eating healthy and getting plenty of physical activity. Here are some tips!

Related: Child BMI: Health Problems

Know Your Serving Sizes

Refer to My Healthy Plate on the recommended number of servings from each major food group for your child—½ plate of veggies and fruit, ¼ plate of meat and others, ¼ plate of wholegrains.


Here is a quick guide on how many servings a toddler at 13-24 months old will need.

Wholegrains (Brown rice/ wholemeal bread)

Fruit
Vegetables
Meat and Others
Meat 
Dairy foods or calcium-rich foods
2-3
½ - 1 
½
½
1 ½ 

2 servings of brown rice or bread = 4 slices of bread or 1 bowl of rice
½ serving of fruit = ½ banana/apple/orange/mango or ½ wedge of pineapple/papaya/watermelon
½ serving of vegetables = 3/8 mug or ½ rice bowl of vegetables
½ serving of meat and others = ½ palm size of meat or 1 block of medium-sized bean curd or ½ rice bowl of cooked legumes
1 serving of milk = 2 glasses (250 ml per glass)

Related: Wholesome Gains with Whole Grains

Choose Healthier

  • Instead of deep frying, opt for healthier methods such as boiling, grilling, or steaming foods.
  • Use less oil, sugar, and salt when preparing meals for the family.
  • Don’t let your child snack too much between meal times, and make sure you offer healthier snacks.

Related: Sneak Tweaks for Healthy Baked Treats

Get Moving!

Your child needs a healthy amount of physical activity to develop his motor skills, build strong bones and muscles, enhance social and communication skills, and achieve a healthy weight.

Let the little one have at least 3 hours of supervised physical activity spread throughout a day, out of which half of it should be spent outside.

Bring your kid out to the park or the playground nearby as part of his daily walk. Under your watchful eyes, let your kid walk, run or even hop to his heart’s content.

Introduce your child to different types of sports and see which one he takes a liking to. Pick gifts such as a bicycle, a hula hoop, balls, and kites to encourage your kid to be physically active.

Mummy and Daddy Are Healthy Too!

As parents, and the most influential people in your child’s life, it is important to set a good example by eating a healthy, balanced diet in addition to being physically active. You are the best candidate to encourage your child to adopt healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle for life.


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References:

  1. Obesity. Retrieved November 2018 from https://www.nuh.com.sg/ktp-nucmi/health/diseases-and-conditions/endocrine-conditions/obesity.html