Today, it is a fact that the percentage of people in America who are overweight and those who are suffering from eating disorders is rapidly on the rise and the sad thing is that many of these people are our children. There are many parents who are totally shocked when they witness their children eating large amounts of food and when they begin to put on extra pounds, they put the hammer down on them to shed the excess weight. Most kids are naïve about the food choices that they make, so as a parent it is our responsibility to teach our children the importance of healthy eating instead of criticizing them about what they eat all of the time.
If you are the parent of an overweight child there is no need to panic because there are ways to encourage your child to lose those extra pounds while at the same time not getting into a confrontation with them all of the time.
The first thing that you need to remember is to choose your words carefully when you talk to your children about their eating habits as harsh words can often have long-term effects on your child’s health. If you are constantly harping or nagging at them about their eating, this can cause them to suppress their emotions and keep them inside and this is not a good thing for their well-being. The best thing that you can do is to set a good example for them. If you want them to eat certain foods such as vegetables, make sure that you enjoy them also because it will be a lot easier to develop good eating habits in your children if you possess them yourself.
You need to keep in mind that your overall goal is not a strict diet, but a healthier lifestyle for your child. The key to success is to properly educate your child on healthy food choices and you do this by making smart food choices for yourself in front of your children. If your child constantly sees you scoffing up candy bars or eating a gallon of ice cream and then you scold them for having an extra piece of cake, they will become frustrated and may decide not to listen to your advice any longer. Make sure that you also teach them the importance of proper daily nutrition and the best time to do this is not at the dinner table where they may feel pressured, but at a place where they feel relaxed.
Do not force your child to exercise. Instead encourage them to participate in things with you know that you know they enjoy and this way you can get them moving. Invite them on a walk or challenge them to a one on one game of basketball or ask them to take a bike ride with you and these are all good forms of exercise. If your child is sensitive about showing their body, choose activities that avoid this.
Try to get your child involved with playing with other children in your neighborhood. This is difficult for some kids especially if they have been picked on by others because of their weight. Some kids are too embarrassed to play with other kids and this is a big issue for them and you need to be respectful of this. If they are able to play with others, this is a great way to build up their self-esteem and they will respect you for doing this.
Last of all make sure that you do not force your child to eat less because your child will not appreciate you constantly keeping at and hovering over them. There are a lot of children who turn to eating for comfort at a very young age and this is not a healthy thing for them. The key is to try to provide them with healthy alternatives that will be better for them. Instead of eating potato chips, offer them popcorn and when they are craving soda, offer them a fruit drink or smoothie.
Dealing with your child’s weight problem will prove to be a challenge, but when you approach it in a friendly way, your child will be much more open to the idea and you can work together with them to hopefully solve the weight problem once and for all.
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