Childhood obesity is an epidemic in America and many kids are having trouble shaking the extra pounds. Now more than ever before, children are leading sedentary lives. There are more hours of homework and many favored pastimes now involve video games and computer use instead of heart-pumping activities. While it is important to make sure that kids get more activity by playing sports with them or assigning chores that are physically engaging, diet also plays a vital role in helping kids to lose weight.
Kids should never have foods restricted or eat low fat products. Kids need fats and a large variety of foods to grow and develop properly. Dietary changes should be a household effort, so that no one feels singled out and there is plenty of support. Transitions should be made with care, allowing some indulgences once in a while so that kids do not feel like they are being punished for their weight.
Balanced Meals and Snacks
Each meal should contain a fruit or vegetable, a protein, and a carbohydrate for balance. Snacks should consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, or carbohydrates such as crackers or popcorn. It is important to watch portion sizes and make sure that snacks are available so that the impulse to binge is not there. A good example of a balanced breakfast is a scrambled egg with a lean piece of ham, a piece of whole wheat toast with strawberry jelly, and a small glass of orange juice or almond milk.
Benefits of Childhood Weight Loss
When kids lose enough weight to go from being considered “overweight” to “healthy,” it can be a huge boost to self esteem. Kids often face less teasing from classmates and feel more confident. Kids may also feel better in general, less tired and achy when weight is within a healthier range. It is important to take the right steps when helping kids to lose weight and to make sure kids feel supported throughout the process.