It can be challenging to help your child lose weight, especially when they are not old enough to understand the importance of being fit. But, as a parent, is our responsibility to keep our children healthy by all means possible. That’s why today, I will give you proven ways to help your child lose weight.
It’s a known fact that obesity is one of the big challenges children have to face nowadays due to several avoidable factors. Statistics show that almost 19 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are obese. It’s also conspicuous that children of other age brackets are also being confronted with this health condition.
However, there is a way!
There are lifestyle changes and eating habits you can incorporate into your family to help your child lose weight.
Here are some of the ways one can get it done:
PROVEN WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD LOSE WEIGHT
With the issues surrounding children’s obesity, the best way to help your child lose weight is by doing the following: being a good model, setting realistic goals, encouraging an adequate rest time, having healthy eating habits, showing support, inspiring a more active life, less screen time all to tackle the avoidable causes of obesity.
1. BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL, THEY WILL FOLLOW YOUR STEPS
The first line of change for your children starts with you. Children look up to you as parents for absolutely everything, and it is only right to show them how to lose weight by curbing your habits. If you want them to stop eating junk foods, then you have to stop eating them yourself.
For every habit you wish to incorporate into your children’s lives, you need to be a role model they can look up to. Moreover, they are great imitators; so become something great.
While nobody expects you to be a “perfect parent”, there are some tips to help you be a good model to raise happy and healthy kids.
- >>Become your best version
- >>Take care of Yourself
- >>Learn how to manage life and kids
- >>Find Time to Exercise
- >> Get active, avoid sedentary life
2. SET REALISTIC HEALTHY GOALS FOR YOUR CHILD
Even as adults, losing weight is all about determination. Not everyone sets out to lose weight and successfully gets it done. With children, the odds only get smaller, which means that setting realistic goals is the only way out.
If you have a child within the normal weight range, all you need to do is make sure that you keep them in shape. If on the other hand, you have a child who is on the obese side, then you need to make sure you set realistic weight loss goals.
- Adequate rest daily
- Change Eating Habits (Eat breakfast, cook with your kids)
- Eat healthy meals every day (more green food and healthy fats)
- Plenty of water and milk
- Get regular Physical Activity
3. SET ADEQUATE REST TIME, QUALITY SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL
Quality sleep is an essential part of the balanced life of anyone in the family, but it is increasingly common to see a poor sleep timing pattern.
Scientific studies have shown that establishing a regular, and adequate amount of sleep early in childhood may enhance metabolic regulation and optimum eating habits in the future.
However, getting to a regular sleep time can be a challenge at first but the truth is that it is completely worth it for all the benefits. Getting quality sleep can also help your kids learning, boost memory and, and overall good mental and physical health.
Recommended Sleeping time according to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Babies under 1 year: 12-16 hours
- Children 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours
- Toddlers 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours
- Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours
- Teenagers 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours
4. CHANGE TO A BETTER EATING HABIT AND INVOLVE THE ENTIRE FAMILY
There are lots and lots of eating habits that cause children and even adults to overeat, which should be changed. Some of these habits are eating while watching TV, eating anywhere in the home, and eating as a habit or reaction to something, rather than being hungry.
Teach your children to eat when they are hungry and in the dining or kitchen rather than in front of the TV. This would prevent them from eating without thought and eventually getting overweight.
Positive Eating Habit You Can Incorporate at Home
- Avoid using food as a reward
- Don’t eat too late
- Don’t eat snacks directly from the package. Let them choose a smaller container.
- Eat on the dining table and avoid electronics while eating
- Place a colorful bowl with fresh fruit where kids can see it.
5. GIVE THEM HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS FOODS
Another thing you need to do as a parent or guardian is to make healthy and nutritious meals for your children. You need to always push them to eat their three meals in small portions.
By the way, this has to apply to adults as well. Everyone in the family needs the same types of nutrients: Vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and fat.
Good Practice for Nutrition in Children:
- Eat fresh fruits instead of juice or canned.
- Plenty of Protein: eggs, beans, meat, nuts, etc.
- Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta, and rice.
- Choose cereals with minimal added sugars.
Make sure they also drink a lot of water during the day to keep them hydrated.
This might be tough initially, especially if they have been used to eating what they want. However, when you do something long enough, it becomes a habit that will prove essential to turn things around for you and your family.
6. INSPIRE THEM TO HAVE A MORE ACTIVE LIFE – EXERCISING MORE IS A GOOD HABIT
According to CDC guidelines, children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should practice physical activities for at least 60 minutes each day.
But, I know a busy lifestyle makes finding time to exercise difficult for either parents or children. Just think about it doesn’t necessarily mean sports or going to the gym.
Any aerobic exercise can help your children lose weight – all they need is your encouragement.
Here are some physical activities you can encourage your kids to practice at home.
- Family walking and hikes
- Running or playing outdoor games
- Bicycle trips
- Jumping on an indoor or outdoor trampoline
- Jumping rope
On the other hand, many cities and towns have also great community centers. YMCA is one of them, they have multiple activities for children of all ages that can help you achieve the weight loss goal.
Always remember that is best if the kids learn to see physical activities as something fun to do. This would most certainly keep them active longer and motivated to keep and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
REDUCE SCREEN TIME
TV, phones, and other devices reduce children’s level of activity. It keeps them pinned at a spot, eating a lot of unhealthy food. If you want your children to remain in a healthy weight bracket, have them have more time to be active by limiting the time of sedentarism.
In fact, according to Harvard University, stationary activities such as screen time have been linked with the risk of obesity.
Parents, if you can reduce their screen time they would look for more things to do than just sit down. This does not mean taking them off screens altogether; it simply means giving them strategic times so they can engage in other activities.
In addition to being fun for children, physical activity has other health benefits:
- Boosting self-esteem.
- Reducing stress and anxiety.
- Helping with weight management.
As a Bonus to Help Your Kids Lose Weight
Being supportive means doing everything you can to show that you have their back no matter how things go. This means changing the eating habit of the entire family, avoid buying unhealthy foods, giving them better choices for food.
Make them feel this is a project for the health and well-being of the entire family. Doing so will motivate them to do better because they see everyone rallying around them to do better.
Have confidence, you can do it!
Maintaining an adequate weight in children is a family goal. Keeping them within the healthy age bracket is sometimes not an easy task, but please know you are their best model.
I am not someone who does a lot of exercises, but, I do my routines daily and think you also do it.
You can start with your kids easily. Jump rope or jumping on a fitness trampoline are the funnest way.
Now is your turn,
We have pointed out some tips to help your children lose weight, and from here on in, you are left to walk your own path using this information the way you feel applies to you.
I know it might seem challenging initially, but you will be proud of it and they would thank you for it. You will give them the chance to live a healthy life in the present and the future.
If you have any questions or concerns, please leave us your comment below. We are here to help you become the best version of yourself.
“Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Severe Obesity Among Children and Adolescents Aged 2–19 Years: the United States, 1963–1965 Through 2017–2018”, _CDC.
Bad eating habits as the main cause of obesity among children, 2013-https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Waking Up to Sleep’s Role in Weight Control, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/sleep-and-obesity/
Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview, 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
More screen time, more obesity, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/more-screen-time-more-obesity/