Talking about overweight children can be a very sensitive subject. As parents, we tend to take on an enormous amount of guilt when we feel that something isn’t quite right with our child’s weight. And while the health of our child is our responsibility, the last thing we want to do is let that guilt turn into inactivity.
Recognizing and acknowledging that our child has a weight problem is the first step. Once we take this step, we can then take additional steps to help the problem. As with any health issues, there are often simple changes we can make in our lives that will make a difference. Some of these changes might include the following:
Be a Good Example – Before we can expect any changes in our child’s weight loss or eating habits, we must first take a look at what we do as parents. Our children look to us for an example and emulate what we do. We can be good role models by making sure that we’re exercising on a regular basis and eating healthy. Be active with your kids. Show them that exercise can be fun and involve the family.
Portion Control – Most doctors agree that putting an overweight child on a diet is not the best way to help them lose weight. Diets seem to be the instinctive first choice of how to address obesity as a child. However, doctors say that forcing a child to diet can actually make things worse. It’s better to start by serving smaller portions for meals. Use smaller plates and don’t force your child to eat everything on their plate.
Healthy Snacks – Giving a kid a yummy treat can feel like a completely natural gesture. We have to be careful though, as many treats can contain too much sugar or too many calories. Discovering and serving healthy snacks will take a little bit of work, especially when it seems that every aisle of the grocery store has some sort of easy, unhealthy snack. Do some research and try some different things to find the right kind of healthy snack for your kids.
Get Them Active – One of the biggest contributors to kids being overweight is the absence of physical activity in their daily routine. Television and video games are much more attractive to kids these days. Unfortunately, if we’re waiting around for our children to develop a natural desire to get out and be active, we may miss the boat. Encourage your children to play outside at the park, with other kids or in sports. The more exercise they get, the more it will help control their weight.
Many new studies are now pointing to adult health problems that stem from an unhealthy childhood. Overweight and obese kids are more likely to face serious health issues as they get older. Their bodies begin to make changes as they are young that will affect them as they grow into adults. It’s so important that parents are involved in keeping their children’s weight under control. If you have any concerns about your child’s weight, be sure to ask one of the professionals at AllKids Urgent Care.