Make Weight Loss A Family Affair
Childhood obesity is almost always a result of too much food and not enough physical activity. The best way to treat and prevent childhood obesity is to address the lifestyle of the entire family, rather than focusing on the choices of one child.
5 Tips For Treating Childhood Obesity As A Family
Start small. Making changes as an individual can be difficult. Changing the way a group of people live can be even more difficult and you’ll want to avoid taking on too much at once. Start with little changes like turning off the TV at night, replacing soda with healthier beverages, or going on a family walk a few times a week.
Set realistic goals for everyone. You should have realistic, measurable goals as individuals and as a family. Each family member should have one goal that’s tailored to their needs, and the family can have a goal that you all work towards together. For example, a family goal may be to only order take-out food once a month.
Recognize triggers. Take note of situations when your family tends to overeat or make poor food choices. Are weekends or specific activities predictable pitfalls? Make plans ahead of time to overcome these obstacles with new choices.
Celebrate success. Establish family rewards that everyone can enjoy and make a point of recognizing and praising your children’s successes regularly. Even small accomplishments, like choosing fruit for snacks instead of popcorn, can be a chance for a pat on the back.
Keep it positive. Focus on the positive lifestyle changes you’re making for your family’s health. Avoid negative comments about your child’s appearance or weight.
Work together as a family to create a positive attitude about healthy living and you’ll establish a support network that will help your children make healthy decisions for the rest of their lives.
4 Tips For Creating A Healthy Environment At Home
Preventing and treating childhood obesity begins at home. As you work to teach your child about healthy lifestyle choices, make an effort to create an environment that promotes maintaining a healthy weight.
Fill the kitchen with healthy foods. Stock your cupboards and refrigerator with healthy snacks and ingredients for healthy meals. Focus on lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Keep the temptation of junk food and sugary beverages out of the house.
Eat at home. Eating out presents the opportunity to overeat and make unhealthy food choices. Eat in as often as possible and get your children involved in meal planning and preparation.
Make physical activity a way of life. Build exercise into your daily routine whenever possible. Plan errands that require walking and get everyone involved in active household chores.
Limit your family’s TV time. Set reasonable restrictions on how much TV everyone is allowed to watch, both alone and as a family. Don’t have your meals in front of the TV, and plan other family activities for after dinner. Keep computers and TVs out of all the bedrooms. This means Mom and Dad will need to reduce their TV time as well.
You can combat childhood obesity by become a positive role model for your child. Help them create new habits that involve healthy food choices, portion control, and regular physical activity.