Having a child who is overweight can be stressful for both you and your child. Often times, parents know that their child needs to lose weight but they don’t know how to approach the subject.
Whether you’re considering just buying healthier foods for your children or sending them to a fat camp for kids and teens, your child’s health should be one of your top priorities.
Yet it’s a problem that must be addressed. Recent studies suggest that at least 155 million school-age children worldwide are overweight or obese. Diseases once considered to affect only older adults –heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure–are now affecting those in their early twenties and thirties as a result of the obesity epidemic.
What You Can Do
As a parent, you can do a lot to help your child achieve and maintain their ideal weight. Healthy eating and exercise habits are just the start.
Here are some strategies to help your child lose weight safely and discover a sense of confidence.
Most importantly, keep it positive and focused on health, not weight. Your goal as a parent should be to have healthy kids, not necessarily skinny ones. By teaching your child that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, they can be proud of who they are and confident about how they look.
Begin with small changes. There is nothing wrong with taking massive action. But to avoid overwhelming your child with new rules, foods, and habits, start small. By making small, manageable changes, you avoid the temptation to give up. Remember that small, daily investments lead to big results.
Make it a family commitment. Tackling a weight issue is tough for any child. But doing it alone makes it even tougher. Commit as a family to make positive changes that support healthy habits for everyone. Whether it is a commitment to always eat at the table, increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, or learn more about healthy cooking, mutual support will keep everyone on track.
Food Monitoring. The number one predictor of success in any weight loss program is how well the participant monitors their food intake. It is important to know what food and how much you are putting in your body. If you want to a jump start to your weight loss program, start tracking your food. Self-monitoring provides accountability, immediate feedback and response, and the information needed to adjust food intake based on your goals.
Move, move, and then move some more. Today’s childhood is all about TV, smartphones, and tablets. These items are not friends with healthy weight loss and maintenance. Increasing your child’s daily physical activity is a requirement. Be sure to pick a few activities that you can have fun doing together as a family. Mutual support goes a long way in providing accountability and structure.
By taking an active role in helping your child —and your whole family—you are providing the tools necessary to live a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained a lifetime.s.
Ready to learn more about how you can help your child form healthy habits and reach their ideal weight? Contact us today to learn how Wellspring Camps can help!