Talking to your overweight child about being overweight can be an extremely difficult situation, as it is a sensitive subject and you don’t want to say the wrong thing that may hurt your child’s feelings. However, you need to have these talks in order to make sure that they lead healthy lifestyles, and if you don’t talk to your child about weight issues, the other kids at school may be the ones that say something and it could potentially lead to teasing or bullying.
Teach Healthy Eating Habits
One of the most important things to do is to talk to your child about healthy eating habits. Have you noticed that your child seems to be eating a lot of chips and not a lot of vegetables or fruits? You also want to teach your child the difference between saturated fats and unsaturated fats. The key is that you do not want your child to completely eliminate these saturated fats from their diets, but be more cautious of what they are eating and how it is affecting their weight.
Maybe your child always has to have dessert after dinner? Talking to your child about cutting this down to once or twice a week or making healthier dessert decisions may be a great way to cut back on these empty calories. A common kid favorite is soda, candy, and high sugar foods. Explaining the possible effects of these foods on your child’s body can also help to teach your child to make better decisions, like drinking water instead of soda—or at least cutting back on soda intake.
Get Your Kids Involved in Physical Activity
When children are over weight, they tend to isolate themselves away from friends and sports teams. Because they are overweight, running and doing physical activities can be difficult, so it is understandable why they choose not to participate in sports. However, the only way to lose the weight and to gain the muscles that will allow them to be successful in the sport and gain endurance, agility, and strength, is by doing the hard work and practicing. If your child is not involved in a sport, require your child to play a sport every season. Or, sign your child up for a club sport through your town, or start going on walks a few days a week.
Be a Good Role Model
Children often learn through watching, especially their parents as they are around them so often. With this in mind, it is important that you also follow these guidelines: adding physical activity and healthy eating habits into your daily routine. When cooking dinner, make sure that you are making healthy options, full of vegetables, as opposed to starches. Or, instead of ordering pizza three times a night, only order pizza once a week. You can also offer to do physical activity with your child, go for walks or jogs with them, go roller blading, go play a family game of kickball. Whatever it is, you have to be active and involved too.
Do you have an overweight child? Are you making any changes?