More children than ever before are overweight or obese. Overweight children are prone to being teased and ridiculed at school. They’re also susceptible to many more illnesses and health conditions. Helping a child lose weight is one of the best things a parent or adult can do. It helps the child live a longer and hopefully a happier life.
There are many things a parent can do to help a child lose weight. In this article we take a look at three very simple but powerful strategies.
#1 Get rid of the junk
A child, any child, will inevitably choose junk food over a healthy snack. If junk food is in the house, you can bet your child will find it. To help your children lose weight, get rid of the junk food. Get rid of the soda. Throw out the sugary drinks. Toss the cookies, cakes and ice cream. Get rid of the candy. Throw away the sugary cereals, ice cream and the chips and pizza rolls. Throw away the junk and don’t buy it any more.
Replace the junk food with healthy snack options. Seriously, if it’s in the house and children are hungry they’ll eat it. Good snack options include cheese, fruit, whole grain crackers and pretzels. Popcorn, low fat and low sodium, is a good snack option too.
Fill your refrigerator with easy to use vegetables and dip. Low-fat dip or hummus works best. Buy your children low-sugar oatmeal and low-sugar cereals and give them fresh fruit to put on it. You’re not going to be able to completely wipe out their sweet tooth. However, they can satisfy it with fruit instead of sugar and white flour.
#2 Get active
Children’s bodies are meant to be active and in constant motion. If your child isn’t involved in any after school or extracurricular sports, sign them up. If they’re not interested in sports, then get outside with them and get active. Ride your bikes together. Go for walks or hikes together. Make sure your child does something active every day. Sign them up for a break dancing or martial arts class. Support them to join a sports league or take lessons in an individual sport like tennis.
The more active your child is, the more calories they’ll burn. It may be difficult at first. Overweight children may experience physical discomfort. Be patient. Help them gradually increase the intensity of their activity. Many children who are overweight are uncomfortable with their bodies. They fear ridicule and would rather stay inside their home. Help them get over any embarrassment they have.
#3 Be a good role model
If your child is not allowed to eat junk, then you’re not either. If your child is supposed to be active, then you need to be too. Children learn by the actions and behavior of the adults around them. Yes, it may be difficult at first. If you’ve been leaving an unhealthy lifestyle there will be some discomfort. Change isn’t always easy. But it does get easier. Support your child to live a better, healthier life, by living a better and healthier life yourself.
Childhood obesity is at an all-time high. It’s up to parents and the adults to help children overcome weight problems. Teach children when they’re young so they can grow into strong and healthy adults.