The Top 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Overweight Child
1. Focus on the entire family, not just the child – Create a supportive environment for your child. Make it a point to have the whole family sit down for healthy meals together.
2. Eat well and have your child food shop with you – Gradually introduce more fruits and vegetables into meals. For fun, give your child the job of picking out a new fruit or vegetable to be eaten for dinner, and ask them to help you prepare the dish. Choose snacks wisely – foods that aren’t brought into the home aren’t eaten at home.
3. Limit high-sugar juices, drinks and snacks – Many of the drinks our kids enjoy provide “empty calories,” meaning they promote weight gain while supplying few if any nutrients. Make the family’s beverage of choice water or seltzer - you can create a tasty treat by adding a little 100% fruit juice. Try to limit highly processed and refined sources of sugar found in items such as candy, cookies, cake and pudding.
4. Teach your kids to eat only when they’re hungry and limit portion sizes – Many of us eat not only when we’re hungry, but also when we’re stressed, upset or simply bored. Ask your children whether they’re really hungry when they reach for a snack. Use smaller plates when serving meals, always letting your child know there’s more food available if they’re still hungry should they finish what’s on their plate.
5. Help your kids relax and get them to bed early – Studies show that both stress and insufficient sleep can contribute to weight gain. Be sure your children have time to laugh and play, and have a set bedtime for them so they can get at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night.