Don’t you just love pinching the chubby cheeks of cute little babies? These chubby cheeks and big tummies are only cute when they are young as this is often normal because of the so-called “baby fat”. But when babies grow into toddlers and pre-schoolers, the baby fat should start to subside as they are more active during these stages. If that’s not the case with your child, better have it checked by a pediatrician as he/she may be a candidate for childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity has affected a large percentage of young kids and teens all over the world. This health condition is caused by frequent dining in fast food restaurants, excess consumption of junk foods, bigger food servings, playing videogames, watching TV instead of playing outside with friends, and shortening of physical education classes in school to give way to academic subjects. It is your responsibility as parents to help you children lose weight and this is what we are going to discuss in this article.
How to Help Your Children Lose Weight Naturally
Tip #1 Communication is the Key
Some things may seem uncontrollable because kids are getting more manipulative each day. But as parents, we need to be firm in implementing rules and promoting healthy living. To effectively do this, we must open the line of communication with our kids. Explain why they need to manage their weight, explain the risks and benefits involved, ask them how they want to do it, tell them how you want to do it, and meet half way. By doing so, the success rate will be high because kids will be more participative since they are involved with the planning.
Tip #2 Allocate Time for Family Day
An average adult works around 8 hours a day and 5 days a week; why not give at least one of the weekends to your child? Organize bonding activities on weekends where you get to have fun with your kids while burning some calories.
Children loves water, bring them to a nearby beach; swimming is a good calorie burner because it requires both the upper and lower body to work. Other great activities include, camping, hiking, mountain biking, jogging, or simply playing in the park.
Tip #3 Find Smart Alternative Snacks
Is your two year old toddler’s pet name “Pacman” because she eats almost anything in her way? It may seem funny, but this may be of concern because this may result in obesity if you don’t act soon.
Consult your pediatrician, and serve snacks that only you want your toddler to eat. Makes sense, right? Replace cookies with fresh grapes and berries in the cookie jar, serve whole grain bread and cereals instead of white bread, and make an effort to prepare fresh fruit shakes to substitute soda and other sweetened drinks. It does take extra work, but it’s all worth it.
Tip #4 Make Eating Healthy Foods Fun and Interactive
Kids love to play, even when eating. Take this fact to your advantage by preparing fun and interactive meals. For example, make a happy face or write his/her name using sliced fruits and vegetables. Another good idea is by allowing them to take part in food preparation like washing the greens, putting it on the pot, and stirring the mixture. Giving them the adult feel allows you to talk to them about eating “adult food”; you need to eat fruits and vegetable as well to show them that this is what “adult food” is.
These are just some of the thousands of things you can do as parents to prevent your kids from growing as obese adults. Each kid has individualized approach, what works for my kid may or may not work for your kid. With imagination, patience, and creativity, you can devise the most effective way on how to keep your kids active and healthy.
Chris is a mother and a healthy weight loss blogger. In her blog you can learn how to lose weight the natural and green way. She also writes frequently on subjects related to childhood obesity and raising ‘green’ kids.