It is no surprise that many children are overweight. The readily available junk foods coupled with hours in front of a television or computer screen are primary factors in the obesity problem faced by adults and kids alike. If your kid has a weight issue, you can take a proactive approach to help him or her combat the problem and get to a healthy weight. Losing weight now is important for future health. Children who are heavy grow into adults who have many health problems. Many of these problems are life-long and can be avoided if action is taken immediately.
If your child prefers staying indoors to watch tv or play video games, it’s time to introduce activities to them that gets them moving. You can start off small. Suggest a quick walk outside. Encourage them to spend more time outside where they will be moving around. Most people don’t necessarily enjoy exercise. So, it’s important to encourage activities that your child likes. Sports are a great way to stay active, have fun and lose weight all in one. Find out which sport your child enjoys and ensure they get the chance to play that sport, whether it’s with a school team, league or just at home. Staying active has many rewards, with weight loss just being one of the many.
If your child is like most kids, they do not like to do chores. But, chores can be a great way to help your child lose that excess weight. Even light chores are better than sitting around all day doing nothing. Easy household work, such as vacuuming and mopping, can keep you moving and even increase your heart rate. You can even provide an incentive, such as an allowance, to entice your child to help you out.
Choose Healthy Snacks
We have access to any kind of food at any time. Snacks are great when you need a quick bite. But, all too often, such snacks are used for constant grazing. If your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator are stocked with salty and sweet snacks that are high in carbohydrates, you may be contributing to your child’s weight issues. It is a good idea to limit the junk food you keep in the house. Keep a healthy supply of vegetables and fruits for snacking. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, your child should be reaching for celery or carrot sticks.
It’s important to reward your child for improved eating habits. Adults who are trying to lose weight can stay on track with their eating habits because they ultimate reward is the weight loss. But, with kids, the reward needs to be more tangible. For instance, you might reward your child with a cheat meal or snack. If your kid is trying really hard to make good food choices, you could offer to take him out for ice cream or go to his favorite restaurant. When you find what motivates your child, offer that motivation to them on a regular basis to keep them upbeat and encouraged.
Set the Example
Whether you realize it or not, your child is watching you. They pick up on your habits, including your eating habits. Maybe you aren’t worried about watching your weight, so you keep chips on hand because you enjoy them. If your child sees you grazing on chips, they are likely going to do the same thing. Set a good example for your child by eating nutritious foods and avoid foods that provide empty calories. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. But, if you’re continually choosing bad foods, your child is going to do the same.
Cook at Home
When times are busy and you’re running all over the place, you are probably tempted to get take-out for your family. After all, who wants to work all day, run errands and then cook a full meal when you get home. But, all constantly eating out is not good for you. Restaurants, including the fast food chains, build their businesses on the premise that their food tastes good. Unfortunately, to get that good taste, many unhealthy ingredients are added in most cases. Although it might be difficult, you should try to cook at home most days. By doing this, you will know what’s in the food you’re preparing and your child will get a better meal that won’t sabotage their health and weight loss goals.
Let Your Child Cook
Letting your child plan and cook a meal is an excellent way to get them involved in what the family eats. Your child has likes and dislikes. So, why not let them plan a meal they will enjoy. You can assist them with preparation and actually cooking the meal. The idea is to get them actively engaged in cooking so they will be motivated by the satisfaction that they were able to prepare a tasty meal that everyone will like.
Limit Television Time
A favorite pastime for many children is watching television or playing video games. Although such activities can provide hours of entertainment for your child, they are sedentary activities that rob your child of a fun and active lifestyle. And, the one thing that pairs nicely with tv or video games is snacks. Therefore, not only should you be limiting your child’s snacks, but you should also try to limit their tv and video gaming time. Give them some time for their favorite activities and then make them go outside. You don’t want them to feel you’re taking away their favorite activities. But, you do want to limit those activities and ensure they are getting an adequate amount of sleep and exercise.
Choose Condiments Wisely
We use condiments almost every day to flavor food. Ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise are probably the first ones that come to your mind. It’s important to find substitutes because certain condiments, such as mayonnaise are high in fat and calories. Pay attention to your child’s condiment choices and help him substitute with healthier options when available.
Spend Time Together
You probably lead a fast-paced life that can make it difficult to find the time to spend with your child. However, in helping him during his weight loss journey, it is important to spend time together. Let him know how much you love and care for him. Be excited to see him succeed. He will be happy and motivated to see you happy.