The Prevention of teenage and childhood obesity comes with many challenges. There are hundreds of childhood obesity resources – from guides to web pages and support groups; the ability to stay on track has never been more feasible. But with the ‘how to’s,” comes the “what shouldn’t I do?” inquiries. Have no fear – we have provided basic guidelines on what you shouldn’t do when trying to help your child overcome obesity.
1. Don’t single them out. No matter how old, kids hate to feel left out. If you are forcing a healthy lifestyle down their throats, you should also be embracing it. Sticking together as a family will not only enforce healthy values but make the new routine easier to follow. It becomes more of a “goal” when working together.
2. Moderation is important. Don’t take away the junk food all together. It is crucial to give your child healthy meals and snacks, but a treat every now and then won’t hurt. By cutting junk food out completely, you’ll find that it is more difficult to get them to agree and be happy with this new lifestyle. Moderation is the stress-free approach to take. After all, they are children – let them have a little enjoyment!
3. Don’t make fun of your child for being overweight. This won’t fix anything – it will only push your child away. Remember, obesity is a disease. It is no laughing matter. Though it can be cured with the right diet and exercise, you absolutely need to be supportive. Motivate them, make sure to give compliments and continue to love them. It is a difficult struggle for everyone, but ridiculing won’t improve the circumstances.
4. Don’t ignore their voice. Let them tell you what works and what doesn’t. If you allow your child to participate in this lifestyle change, the outcome will be much brighter. If they want something sweet, try making a fat-free dessert. How about a tofu fruit smoothie? Incorporate fun finger foods, wheat pizza – anything that will encourage them. Remember, most favorite foods can be modified to fit into your healthy meal plan. Eating right doesn’t mean it has to taste bland. Experiment in your kitchen; try searching for healthy recipes online (such as SparkRecipes.com or CookingLight.com) and your family will be satisfied in no time.
Just following these 4 simple suggestions goes a long ways towards the prevention of childhood obesity.