Weight Loss for Kids
Children are fussy eaters – they don’t want greens and they don’t want anything that is healthy, making it difficult to come up with meals that are good for their health. Technology has advanced so much that kids don’t need to go out and play now. Why play in the park with other kids when you can play on the Wii in the comfort of your own home? While technology definitely has made a few things easy, this is not one of them. Kids need to go out and play, not as much for weight loss as for making new friends and learning important social skills.
Weight loss for kids can be challenging. They don’t know what is good or bad for them. If they are used to eating unhealthy, carb-laden meals, that is what they will want. It is important to instill good food habits from their first meal.
A lot of families cook ready to eat meals or order in. Any doctor will tell you that home cooked meals are healthier and have more nutrition compared to a restaurant meal. If everyday cooking is a chore, cook large batches on weekends and freeze them.
Make Changes to Your Family’s Eating Habits
If you don’t pack your child’s lunch, you might want to see what they are being served at school. Start packing lunch if the food choices are not healthy.
Control the intake of aerated beverages like soda and unhealthy snacks such as chips. Processed, high calorie and sugar rich foods are what you must absolutely eliminate from their diet. In order to do this, it is important to change your habits too. If you drink too much soda, you will never be able to stop your kids from doing the same.
If you eat out a lot, you may want to reduce it to once or twice a week. Making fresh meals everyday can be taxing after a long day at work but you can control your children’s eating habits better this way.
Increase Exercise Time
As a parent, you have the huge responsibility of looking after your child. Lack of exercise not only makes your children overweight, it also makes them lethargic and reduces mental alertness. After all, what good has ever come from watching TV or playing video games?
One great way to increase exercise time is to exercise with them your child. You’ll both get the exercise you need and have much-needed time together as well. Children need at least one hour of physical activity every day. There are a lot of simple ways to include physical activity – go berry picking, hiking, play catch with them, take them to the beach or the local park, or introduce them to sports like baseball, basketball, or ballet.
An overweight child will not appreciate sudden changes to their diet so you have to be innovative in your approach to introducing them to healthier foods. Don’t make overnight changes in their diet. Let them eat what they usually eat but start giving them more fruits and berries. Replace ice creams with sorbets and white bread with whole grain bread.
Once your child gets used to these changes, start introducing vegetables. A great way of making them eat vegetables is by taking them to the farmer’s market to choose them. You can also make burgers at home by making patties from vegetables that your child does not generally like as a side dish. This is also a good alternative for making them cut back on fat-heavy meats. Increase their fruit consumption by making smoothies for breakfast, adding fruit to pancakes, and even to cereal.
Do Not Buy Unhealthy Foods
Kids in the age group of 7 to 10 can help themselves to snacks in the pantry. If you don’t buy unhealthy snacks, they won’t have access to them. It is really as easy as that.
Plan your grocery store trips when your children are at school. This way you can control the food in the house without listening to their tantrums. Take a weekly trip to your local farmer’s market to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. Remember, fresh is always better than frozen.
Allow Some Cheating and Treats
All kids love treats and the overweight child deserves them as much as any other. Allowing one treat a week, such as a bowl of ice cream or their favorite candy bar, is not only a good way to reward their progress, it’s essential to keeping them motivated.
Speak to your Doctor
Weight loss for kids can be a little tricky – they don’t need as much exercise as adults do and dieting is a definite no-no. Sometimes, obesity may result from underlying health problems which your doctor can advise about. If your family has a history of obesity, the doctor will be able to create a specific plan for your child that will help control weight.
Be a Role Model
For your child, there is no bigger role model than their mother or father. If they see you eating unhealthy foods and lounging around the whole day, this will become a part of their routine too. It is very important to set a good example.
Change your eating habits if you want your children to eat healthy. Drink more water, exercise more, and start cooking meals at home.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
This holds true for kids and adults alike. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is even more important for children. They need energy from breakfast so they can learn better at school. Skipping breakfast or any other meal for that matter only increases the amount of junk food you consume.
All these steps combined with nutritious meals can go a long way in shaping the way your children will treat their health in future. Healthy eating habits during childhood will help them control their weight and reduce the risk of weight related problems.