How To Help Kids Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Are you stuck with ideas on how to get your kids physically active? Are you worried about their current fitness level? Do you need to help them maintain a healthy body weight? Below are nine tips to help you encourage a healthy and happy kid.
- Be supportive. Children know if they are overweight and don’t need to be reminded or singled out. They need acceptance, encouragement and love.
- Set guidelines for the amount of time your children can spend watching television or playing video games.
- Plan family activities that involve exercise. Instead of watching TV, go hiking or biking, wash the car, or walk around a mall. Offer choices and let your children decide.
- Be sensitive. Find activities your children will enjoy that aren’t difficult or could cause embarrassment.
- Eat meals together as a family and eat at the table, not in front of a television. Eat slowly and enjoy the food.
- Don’t use food as a reward or punishment. Children should not be placed on restrictive diets, unless done so by a doctor (for medical reasons). Children need food for growth, development and energy.
- Involve your children in meal planning and grocery shopping. This helps them learn and gives them a role in the decision making.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand. Good options include fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables; low-fat cheese, yogurt or ice cream; frozen fruit juice bars; and cookies such as fig bars, graham crackers, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers.
- Focus on small, gradual changes in eating and activity patterns. This helps form habits that can last a lifetime.