Obesity in children is not only highly dangerous for their health, but it leads to other negative experiences. Overweight children are often ridiculed, isolated and bullied which leads to psychological problems that can develop into lifelong mental and emotional issues. Kids are usually not capable of regulating their weight without the help of adults, so it is our role to step in and help our kids. Losing weight is not an easy task, it can be stressful for everyone and kids are no exception, so we should try and help them do this in a fun, relaxed way. Here are a few suggestions.
Establish healthy eating habits
The first thing to deal with is cutting out all junk food, artificial food, sugar and sweets. There are plenty of resources you can get and learn about a healthy diet for kids. All unhealthy foods should be replaced with healthy options, like veggies, fruit, fish, nuts and seeds. Snacks like chips and chocolate should be replaced with fresh fruit, berries and nuts for example. If this is a problem, there are many ways you can arrange food in a fun way and decorate the kids’ plates to make fruits and veggies more appealing. You will also have to regulate the times and amounts of your kids’ food intake: the recommended standard is three meals and two snacks a day.
Increase water intake
Kids tend to drink a lot of drinks that contain sugar or other artificial sweeteners which cause obesity. All drinks should be replaced with water and lemonade. Water intake should be increased up to at least six glasses a day, and even more in hot weather or when engaging in physical activities. One fun way to get your kids to drink more water is to get them a water bottle they will like, with their favorite superhero or a cartoon character.
Take them out
All kids love when their parents take them to special places for fun and exploration. You can take them to museums, to aquariums, to amusement parks, or to kids’ party venues – nowadays they have adult jumping castles as well, so you can have fun together, jumping is a great way to burn calories and it will help you relax and take the pressure off of losing weight. You can also take your kids on walking or hiking tours, they will love the nature if you prepare good stories. It is also possible just to act like explorers in your own town and vicinity, you can arrange for a scavenger hunt for example. You kid will have fun and won’t even notice how long they have been walking around.
Replace passive play with various activities
Nowadays, kids spend much more time indoors and in front of the TV and the computer and they just don’t get enough physical exercise. One good way to deal with that is to limit TV and computer time and schedule it for the evenings. They can spend the rest of their free time playing with things that involve physical activity. You can get them a bicycle, cycling is a great way to burn calories and all kids love it. You can buy them rollerblades, skates, a skateboard, hula hoop, yoga ball, tennis and badminton equipment, kids’ hockey and so on, there are plenty of options nowadays. Your kids will probably have their own preferences, let them choose.
If you think about it and plan carefully, you can adjust all your activities to facilitate establishing healthy habits and losing weight in a fun way. This whole mission might just turn out to be the most fun you’ve ever had together!
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate for writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”