Simple Ways to Help Your Overweight Child

Worried about your child's overweight problem? You can help your child by asking them to develop healthy habits. As a parent, you can help your child maintain a healthy weight by teaching them good eating habits, involving them in physical activity and building healthy sleep habits.

Child Obesity

Here are some ways you can help your overweight child:

Overweight child needs support and encouragement from parents. Let them know that it's okay to be overweight. If you will accept your child, they will feel good about themselves. Talk to them and ask them to share their concerns.

Don't single out your overweight child, involve your family while you are teaching healthy habits. Focus on changing your family's physical activity and eating habits instead of just pointing towards your overweight child.

Regular physical activity ensures a healthy lifestyle and helps in controlling weight. You can increase your family's physical activity by:

  • Teaching healthy eating habits will help your child take the right approach towards eating.
  • Explain them how to make healthy food choices.
  • Discuss how certain food and drinks affect their health and help them stay fit and healthy.

According to some studies, excess weight in children is linked to not getting enough sleep. So make sure your child is getting enough sleep. The amount of sleep your child should get depends on his/her age.

Be positive and supportive throughout the weight-loss program to help your child achieve a healthy weight.

Support and Encourage Them

Involve Your Whole Family

Figure out the Right Weight Goal

Many children do not need to shed pounds as they constantly grow. They would need to maintain their weight or gain at a slower pace. Older teenagers might be able to lose half a pound to 2 pounds within a week. Your child specialist would let you know how to set the correct weight target for your kid. 

Avoid Supplements and Diets

If your child is overweight, the first thought that may strike you is to put them on a diet. However, unless recommended by a pediatrician, these extreme measures must be avoided at all costs. Avoid trans fats and choose saturated fat wisely by adding more healthy fats that can help a child control blood sugar and prevent diabetes. Include unsaturated fats like avocados, olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, soy, tofu, or flaxseed.

Things to Keep In Your Refrigerator

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables 
  • Milk and dairy products, including string cheese
  • Whole-grain bread and cereals, pretzels, nuts, and olives
  • Greek yogurt, and frozen fruit juice bars

Watch Portion Sizes

Implement  these strategies to retrain your child’s appetite and avoid oversized servings when eating out:

  • Read food labels, use smaller dishes
  • Divide food from large packages into smaller containers
  • Cut up high-calorie items like cheese, pizza, or chocolate into smaller pieces and offer fewer pieces
  • When eating out, downsize your orders by ordering regular or a medium-sized portion instead of a large

Get Your Entire Family Involved

Instead of singling out your child to lose weight, try involving the entire family to lead healthier lifestyle choices. Kids adopt their habits from parents, and it's essential to lead by example.

Increase Physical Activity

  • Plan activities that involve exercise as well as enjoyment. Include walking, biking, dancing, or swimming in your everyday activities.
  • Make sure your child is comfortable when participating in the physical activities. Find activities that they can enjoy and that are not embarrassing for them.
  • Reduce the time your family spends in sedentary activities-watching T.V. and playing video games.
  • Be a role model. Remain active yourself and encourage your family to do so. Walk around, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Teach Healthy Eating Habits to Your Family

Ensure They Are Getting Enough Sleep

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Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

This entry was posted in Child Health Care and tagged child care tipsChild obesityeating habitsobesity in school kidsPreschool

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