Dealing with the topic of childhood obesity can be a very complex matter. This is especially true for parents who are dealing with a child that is overweight. However, sensitive the matter may be, it is imperative as a parent that you assist your child in living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Today there are so many damaging affects that could result from your child being overweight such as emotional distress, bullying, and even depression. As a parent it is your job to ensure that your child is protected in every way possible. You might feel that talking about this with your child is in essence making them feel worse about their body. However, there are some things that you can do without having to say one word that can boost your child’s self esteem and encourage them to lose weight.
Live By Example
The number one way to help your child lose weight is to lead by example. If you are not putting forth the effort to ensure that your child is living a healthy lifestyle, they are not going to learn it on their own. Consider starting with yourself and encouraging your child to follow. Since your opinion is the most important one in their lives right now, showing them that you care is the best way to encourage change.
Limit Fast Foods
One of the biggest contributing factors to childhood obesity is fast food. The portion sizes are more than needed and the food is also overly processed and filled with fats and sugars that the body does not need. While this might mean adjusting your personal schedule so that you’re able to prepare meals at home, it can really cut back on the amount of junk that your child is putting in their body. This does not mean that you should never let your child have a happy meal, it simply means instead of three times a week, limit it to once.
Change Snacking Habits
What child doesn’t love to pig out on potato chips, candy, soda, and other junk foods? Changing the types of snacks they eat can make all the difference. Instead of the junk foods described above, why not consider having healthier alternatives on hand? Instead of regular potato chips, introduce baked potato chips. Instead of sweet candy and cake, introduce sweet fruits. When you introduce new food choices that are healthier yet still tasty, your child will love it.
Get Up and Get Moving
So you don’t have to sign your child up for a full on gym membership to get them to lose weight. Instead you can create fun and exciting outdoor activities. If your child is into sports, consider playing basketball, baseball, or football at a local park after school for an hour or so per day. If you have a little girl, why not allow her to sign up for dance classes a few days out of the week. Exercising does not have to be a chore; it can really be a whole lot of fun and would give your child a chance to burn off the excess calories throughout the day.
Keep in mind that this is a child that you’re working with and you never want them to feel as if you’re picking on them in any way. Moderate the changes so that the child does not become discouraged or overwhelmed by all of it. With a bit of healthy encouragement and participation you will begin to see a difference in your child’s weight, personality, and self esteem in no time at all.