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Ways to help obese children lose weight and enjoy moving more.
Childhood obesity is a very serious concern and it's no secret that the number of obese children is climbing.
We don't want them becoming heavy teens, and ultimately unhealthy adults.
Our inactive lifestyles and processed food diets are leading to the increase.
In fact, about 1 in 6 children are overweight or obese now. Sadly, this puts them at increased risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease later in their lives.
Nobody wants that to happen to them so why not put in some extra effort now?
This 1 in 6 statistic was taken from the CDC website and it provides a pretty dismal outlook, but we can change these statistics by doing two simple things you already know about:
1.) Feeding our kids higher quality foods and...
2.) Encouraging more daily movement
so they can be healthy and vibrant kids who will live long lives.
Change Your Childrens' Diets and Get them Moving
Have you ever heard the phrase, "You can't exercise off bad food?"
Well, it's the truth and it logically follows that t a huge part of the chubby kids epidemic is food quality.
So, the answer is not as simple as just increasing exercise.
Nor do you want to take away major food groups; putting them on radical diets.
Children, in general obviously have different nutritional needs from adults.
They need more of everything to put it simply.
This includes carbs, fats, fiber, protein, and all the nutrients found in whole foods.
However, we tend to forget that they survive and thrive without candy and toaster pastries.
The marketing of highly processed junk food that is aimed to children is disgusting.
It makes it very hard for parents who want to feed their kids better.
Sometimes it seems like an all out war against people who want to be healthy.
As kids, we gave in to the allure of junk food plenty of times; probably too many times.
However, now that I know better, I try harder to encourage my grown kids to make good choices.
I follow an 80-20 rule of thumb. Serve the kids all the good stuff at least 80% of the time and let them choose some "fun" foods 20% of the time; like on special occasions.
Helping Obese Children: Never use Deprivation
This is important because if they feel deprived it could backfire with binges as soon as they are out of your sight and control.
I remember having a set of cousins whose mother really got it and never used white sugar or flour.
Good for her right? She even gave them the best vitamins and always fed them home cooked, healthy meals.
Well maybe she was a little too strict with them about food because when they came to visit us, the more "normal" family,
they typically had a pocket of full of money they had secretly saved up.
We would always walk them down to the general store.
At this fun little store, they would proceed to practically buy out the candy shelves.
On the walk back, they'd binge on everything "bad" they just purchased.
I didn't want that to happen with my kids. I wanted them to feel balanced, satisfied, and not deprived.
So, below are some tips that may help if your also struggling to support your healthy family in a world of junk and computer screens.
Helpful Dietary Tips to Help Obese Children lose weight:
- Breast Feed them as infants if you can. -Experts recommend breast feeding in infancy and for the first six months as one way to start them off on the right track.
Introducing cereals and other solid foods too early is not a beneficial thing and could set them up for higher risk of weight problems later.
- Eat the Rigth Carbs. -They also recommend getting carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and legumes as much as possible.
In addition, grains can be as tolerated by the child but they should be whole and not processed (and I personally think organic).
When we do this, we are providing a diet that is low in sugar/processed carbs and high in nutrients and fiber.
- Follow that 80-20 Rule discussed above. -So they are not feeling deprived.
What kid wants to go to a birthday party and not be able to indulge in the same treats as the other kids?
- Control blood sugar.- Blood sugar swings can result in unhealthy weight gain especially around the middle.
You can also read this post about hypoglycemia in kids. Keeping net carbs on the low side can help as well as making sure enough protein and good fats are included in meals.
Movement Tips for Obese Children:
As mentioned above, diet is critical in the battle against childhood obesity.
However, movement is really important as well and without both, weight control is difficult.
Ultimately, we know that there are many health benefits to exercising for everyone.
I feel like kids were made to be in near constant motion.
Yet, we have created a culture where playing outdoors doesn't feel safe anymore.
Essentially, the real entertainment is in front of a screen watching TV or playing video games.
Even communication is more digital among children with texting and social media.
There is not much to entice them to get outdoors these days.
Here are some ideas that will inspire movement at home:
- Start a step-off competition to see who in the family can take the most steps in a week. Get creative and offer a prize to the winner.
- Assign active chores like washing the car, vacuuming, shoveling or raking. Try helping them land a paid job for a neighbor dog walking or mowing to increase motivation.
- Get the kids' friends together and go outside. Kids are much more likely to be active when they have a friend to play with.
- Choose hiking, biking, ice or roller skating instead of a trip to the movies as your weekend family activity.
- Encourage and support your child's involvement in an organized sport.
- Help them discover a fun hobby like bird watching, nature photography, or gardening that gets them connected to nature while moving those bodies more.
- Park at the opposite end of the mall from their favorite store.
- Take them to the playground regularly.
- Set up an outside treasure hunt or hide and seek game in the neighborhood.
- Walk or ride bikes to school and friends homes when possible and safe..
What works for you?
Can you add to my list? What has worked well for you when trying to help your obese children to lose weight?
What resistance did you experience and how did you handle it?
We have another post listing some ideas for gluten and dairy free snacks that could also provide you with some ideas for healthy treats.
DISCLAIMER FOR HOME REMEDIES FOR Obese Children:
THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES. IT IS BASED ON MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS. I AM NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR AND WHAT IS WRITTEN SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT ANY DISEASE OR ILLNESS. THE PRODUCT LINKS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICATIONS OR TREATMENTS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING ANY SUPPLEMENTS, HERBAL PRODUCTS, OR STARTING ANY EXERCISE OR DIET PROGRAMS.