As parents, we want our kids to be healthy, strong, and resilient. Yet, keeping our kids active and eating properly is a difficult task in a world full of obesity, sugar, and inactivity. How can you help your child to lose weight in a healthy way?
<b>1. Simple calorie counting.</b>
While we don’t want children to focus on numbers, it is important for parents to understand how many calories their child needs in a day to provide proper nutrition. Calorie counts can change for each child, depending on their age, height, activity level, BMI, etc. A good starting point would be a pediatrician consultation.
<b>2. Start a low sugar diet.</b>
The word “diet” in this context clarifies a way of eating. Restrict the amount of sugar your child has access to. This is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks, because sugar is essentially in everything we eat. Make substitutes with carbs that are low on the glycemic index to help blood sugar levels remain stable.
<b>3. Serve more fruits and veggies.</b>
Fruits and vegetables have the most nutritional content and lowest calorie content per serving than any other food. Make meal time fun by helping your child cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes. Let them pick out their favorite fruits and veggies at the store.
<b>4. Encourage more water consumption.</b>
Not only does water help you feel fuller for longer, but it also provides the body with fluids that are necessary for digestion. Drinking water instead of sugary fruit drinks, sports drinks, or soda can reduce the overall calorie intake of your child.
<b>5. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep.</b>
Inadequate sleep can affect every aspect of your child’s life. From their mood to their appetite to their attention span, sleep is a cornerstone in creating and maintaining healthy habits.
<b>6. Limit sugar and salt.</b>
Place limits on high sugar food like candies, cookies, cakes, etc. Do the same with sodium-laden fares, like french fries, chips, and pasta. High levels of sugar and sodium can wreak havoc on the body and encourage fluid retention.
<b>7. Plan for more protein.</b>
Protein helps the body break down excess fat into useful energy. It is more filling and provides essential amino acids for brain health. Red meat, poultry, pork, nut butters, and eggs are excellent sources.
<b>8. Engage in meal planning.</b>
Knowing what your children are eating at what times can help you budget calories appropriately. Let your kids help you meal plan, so they can be excited for upcoming menu options.
<b>9. Facilitate daily exercise.</b>
Sports, outdoor activities, and extracurricular events can help children stay active and burn more calories. Making it fun takes the attention off of health and more on having a good time. If your child begins to lose interest, simply find a new past time. Remember, setting a good example is key, as well.
<b>10. Use fats intelligently.</b>
Eating fats don’t make you fat. That being said, not all fats are created equal. Use fats wisely in order to maintain satiety, but don’t overdo it.