As parents, we’re all trying our best to raise healthy, happy, well-adjusted children. But when it comes to losing weight, our kids aren’t always so happy or well-adjusted. Sometimes they even seem downright grouchy. while we hate seeing our little ones in pain, we hate seeing them gain weight even more.
Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy ways we can help our kids lose weight, without having to go through a painful process ourselves. Here are some of those tips for parents to help kids lose weight in a healthy way.
Make Healthy Eating A Priority
The single most important thing we can do to help kids lose weight is to make healthy eating a priority. You can’t force your child to love healthy food, but you can make it a priority so that when they are hungry, they know what to eat.
Make sure your child has access to a variety of healthy snacks, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Also, be sure to pack healthy meals for school and sports days, since this is when kids are often extra hungry.
If you’re concerned about your child’s weight, talk to your pediatrician or child nutritionist about ways to help your child lose weight. You might try making healthy swaps at home, like swapping high-fat French fries for a small salad, or sugary soda for an unsweetened juice.
Don’t Force Your Child To Give Up Treats
Most parents try to make their kids give up treats, but often they don’t know how to do it in a healthy way, which can lead to pressure and frustration on both sides. As tempting as it is to bargain for your kiddo’s loss of a favorite treat, you don’t want to make your child feel bad about themselves.
Instead, try to make healthy treats a part of your family’s regular routine, like including them as part of a nutritious breakfast or having a healthy dessert after dinner.
Offer a choice, rather than a demand, and follow through with what you say you’ll do. It can also be helpful to another parent or caretaker to help with this process. There’s no need to do this all on your own.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Kids are different than adults when it comes to their eating habits. A lot of times, they just aren’t ready to eat the foods their parents are eating. And while that’s upsetting, it’s also normal.
It’s important to set reasonable expectations around when your child is ready to start eating more healthfully. For example, wait until your child is at least three years old before offering solid foods.
You can also help your child prepare for eating by having a meal plan ready for when you cook together. This will give your child a sense of what to expect, as well as help you stick to a schedule when it comes to cooking together.
Encourage Your Child To Get Moving
You can encourage your child to get moving even if they aren’t trying to lose weight. Even small movements, like taking a few steps, can make a big difference.
You can also encourage your child to get moving by joining them for walks or walks in the community. Walks can be a great way to spend time together, while also getting your child moving. You can also get creative with other activities, like pushing a stroller while your child walks, or using a biking toy.
Take A Walk Together
As with eating more healthfully, encouraging your child to move is something that you can do even if they aren’t trying to lose weight. Walking is great for your child’s health, and it’s something that all kids can do, regardless of their weight.
You can also help your child walk by walking with them. Let your child take the lead as much as possible, and walk behind them, rather than in front of them so that you can help them avoid obstacles as needed.
If your child isn’t ready for a stroller, try standing on one foot while walking on the other, or pushing in a wheeled cart. This way, you can walk with your child, and help them avoid obstacles, while also avoiding putting extra strain on your back.
Organize A Family Dinner
Talking about food is a great way to help kids get used to talking about eating. And when you regularly talk about food and what you’re eating as a family, it can help your child understand what they’re eating.
You can also use these conversations to encourage your child to eat more healthfully. For example, if you regularly eat dessert, you can encourage your child to have dessert too. This way, you can start a healthy eating culture early on, which can make losing weight easier in the long run.
You can also use these conversations to encourage your child to start moving more. If your child isn’t yet getting enough exercise, you can suggest ways they can get more without the need for a prescription.
Help Your Child Learn How To Cope With Stress
Stress can often contribute to unhealthy eating habits because it can make us crave sugary treats or salty snacks. The good news is that you can help your child cope with stress in a healthy way, even if they aren’t trying to lose weight.
One great way to help your child cope with stress is by regularly taking time for yourself. Make time for relaxing activities like reading, a bath or a massage, or spending time with your friends and family.
You can also try doing something that calms your child, like taking a walk or doing yoga together. You can also help your child learn how to cope with stress by talking to your pediatrician or child nutritionist, or by talking to your child’s teacher.