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How to Address Weight Loss with Your Child
Sometimes, it can be very hard to address unwanted weight gain in your children. It is important that you don't bring down their self esteem, or give them a complex about it. But, at the same time, if something needs to change, it needs to be addressed before it becomes a bigger problem. Here are some ways you might talk with your children about weight loss.
Teach Them About Nutrition
Teach them about the food pyramid, and and how to eat a balanced diet.There are many websites for kids that are great for this!
Teach them about portion sizes, what is reasonable, and what is not.And show them that some foods they can have seconds of, and some, they can not.
Teach them about how carbohydrates and sugar works.Tell them that it all turns to sugar, and if you eat more than you need for energy, it will get stored in fat cells, which are useless, and can affect your health negatively.
Teach them how to make healthy snacks.Help them to find some vegetables that they like (sugar snap peas, carrots, tomatoes).
Take Steps To Change Eating Habits
Buy healthy snacks so that you will not need to tell your child "no" if they are hungry.Skip out on the processed foods, and go for the more natural stuff.
Instead of juice, stick with milk or water.Make sure that they have something to drink on the go, because sometimes, they think they are hungry, when they are really just thirsty.
Pack some fruit or veggies before you leave the house.That way, the kids don't come home starving and overeat, and so that you don't end up going for fast-food.
Set a "closed" time for the kitchen.After that, there are no snacks, only water. Set this for an hour or two before bedtime.
Join your kids in this lifestyle change.This is important so they do not feel that they are being singled out, and it makes everything easier if the whole family is on the same page.
Be Active Together
Get out of the house and get moving together:Go on family outings, and leave the car.
- Kids love night walks!
- Go out into the woods, go on a hike and have a treasure hunt.
- Go to the beach and play!
- Go down to the park, and have competitions. You make the rules! They will have a blast. Have races, pop bubbles, you could even bring some small dollar store prizes for competition winners. Use the playground as an obstacle course, play red light green light.
- Go swimming! It's good exercise, and lots of fun!
Get active even around your home, too.
- Put on some music and make up a dance with them.
- Make a game out of cleaning up the house with you! Two birds with one stone!
Help them to find a sport that they enjoy.This is a really important step, because if they find something that they are passionate about, they will love to be active, and it's all downhill from there.
Go to the school and do relays around the track with them.You could even bring along some of their friends and get some prizes. Make it fun! Or pay 25 cents per lap! It's worth it to them!
- Use words like "health" and "nutrition" rather then "fat" or "weight".
- Make sure to include all the benefits of eating healthy, because it's not all about weight, its about your organs, and the human body as a system.
- Do it with them. It makes it all easier.
- Make it fun. Have positive reinforcement rather than negative.
- Skip counting calories. Focus on the nutritional value itself.
- Make sure you are not using a scale to measure progress. Leave that stuff to the doctor, and remember that weight does not directly reflect health.
- Look for apps that focus on health, activity, and wellness. They can help make weight loss fun!
- Don't cut fat out of their diet completely. Counter to popular beliefs, natural fats are good for our bodies. Animal fat, milk fat, olive oil, and other natural oils are good for us. Avoid things like shortening, vegetable oil, and margarine, because they are processed and unnatural.
- Don't put them on some advertised diet. They are not for children, and they do not have key vitamins and minerals that growing and developing children need.
- Do not use diet pills, appetite suppressants, or meal replacement shakes for your children. These things are not intended for them, not good for them, and can be very dangerous, and can leave your children malnourished.
- Do not compare your child to other people, or make them feel bad about themselves. This will only make matters worse. Build them up, don't break them down. Be supportive.
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