How parents can help their

Sep 04, 2019
  • Have an open discussion about weight: It is important to hear how your child feels about their weight. Ask your child questions and avoiding telling them what to do. It is not helpful to tell your child they need to lose weight. This could offend them and create resistance to weight loss. Make a valid effort to listen to how they feel about their weight. If your child is not interested in losing weight, give the topic a break for a while. This does not mean you cannot revisit the topic again in the future. 

  • Keep “junk food” out of the house: Make sure you are not bringing junk food into the house. Out of sight out of mind. It will be easier for your child to resist unhealthy foods if they are not in your house. Make fruits and vegetables readily available for your child to eat as a snack.

  • Be supportive about a healthy lifestyle: Never force your child to develop a healthy lifestyle. Pushing your child into a diet will not work and could cause unwanted tension. Picture yourself as a guide instead of a rule enforcer. Help your child figure out what motivates them to change their lifestyle.

  • Prepare yourself for imperfection: It is important for parents to understand their children will have set backs. Their children will not stay on their diet 100% of the time. Most adults do not follow their diet perfectly. Allow room for slip ups and do not punish or criticize your child when this happens.

  • No skipping meals, especially breakfast: Be a good role model by having breakfast with your child every day. Help educate them about why breakfast is an important meal. This is an opportunity to have quality time with your child.

  • It’s a team effort: Your child is not the only one that will need to change their lifestyle. To help your child lose weight and successfully change their habits, everyone in the house will need to accept a healthier lifestyle. Never single out your child and treat them different than other family members when it comes to changing their eating behaviors. There is a good chance your child will feel judged or criticized if you do this. It could also decrease your child’s motivation and desire to talk about their weight. Everyone in the house can benefit from a healthy lifestyle.

  • Baby steps: understand you and your child cannot change everything all at once. It will happen over time. Start with one goal and then add on as you go. Get buy in from your child about where to start. Ask them what they are ready to work on first. Small changes can make a big difference.

  • Get moving as a family: It is important for parents to get active with their children. Don’t expect your child to go for a walk while you stay at home. Think about this as an opportunity to spend quality time with your child. Brainstorm a fun activity your child would like to try that involves exercise.

  • No soda, juice, or sports drinks: These beverages are empty calories and will cause weight gain. Encourage your child to drink mostly water. Do not bring these beverages into your home.

  • Encourage positive body image: Focus on your child’s strengths and positive qualities. Avoid always talking about their weight.

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