As a parent, you may have wondered how to help your overweight child lose weight. It’s a natural question; after all, you want what is best for your kids.
Kids grow quickly and keeping them at a healthy weight is important. Healthy, fit kids are usually more self-confident, better learners, and are less likely to be bullied. They are also less likely to have health problems later in life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that childhood obesity “is a serious problem in the United States, putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. Obesity prevalence among children and adolescents is still too high.”
In fact, as the CDC reports, for children and young people aged 2 years old to 19 years old, “the prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents.”
So, if you have a child that is struggling with being overweight or obese, you may be looking for ways to help them shed the pounds and be more active.
If your child has a medical condition that is causing obesity, you should talk to your child’s doctor right away for advice that is relevant to your child’s specific situation. In the meantime, here are some ways to help your overweight child lose weight.
Tip #1: Be a good role model.
We teach our kids that it’s important to be kind, giving and empathetic, and to understand the importance of modeling that.
However, when it comes to weight issues, it’s important to also model what good eating and regular exercise look like. For example, set a good example by going for a bike ride or a walk instead of watching TV or sitting in front of the computer.
Tip #2: Get moving.
All kids, even those that are not obese, should aim to get at least one hour of physical activity each day to maintain good health. It doesn’t need to happen all at once, either. You could encourage your kids to get active for 10 minutes at a time.
Encourage your child to engage in active play. Jump roping, playing basketball, dancing, riding a bike, skateboard, or scooter, and playing chase are all great ways to get your kids active.
Inactive pastimes like video games and excessive television exposure keep them sedentary and more likely to gain weight.
Tip #3: Know what food portions they require.
Try to avoid overfeeding. To help with this, start with small servings and let your child ask for a little bit more if they are still hungry. Before you give them more, make sure everything on the plate is gone.
You can also help with serving sizes by giving your kids smaller plates; there is no need to use an adult-sized dinner plate.
Be sure that the meals are balanced, too. That means taking note of the fat and calorie content, avoiding carbonated drinks and juice, and ensuring there are plenty of fruits, vegetables, and skim milk offered throughout the day for your child to eat.
And, of course, avoid junk food, including most fast foods. Real, natural foods will help your child feel full longer; thus, they’ll be less likely to crave the instant satisfaction that comes with sweet and salty snacks.
Keeping your kids at a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do as a parent. It will teach your children to make healthy choices even when they’re away from family meals. It will help them develop proper and healthy eating habits and avoid weight gain.
Contact us today for questions and advice, especially if your child is overweight or has a medical condition that is impacting their daily life.