In today’s society, it’s definitely hard for people, especially children, to stay away from unhealthy food choices. These unhealthy choices can ultimately lead to a growing waist line that can be detrimental to a kid’s health. Here are some ways to approach the issue without negatively affecting your child’s self esteem.
First and foremost, while an increasingly high BMI is detrimental, causing your child to have a complex about his or her weight can be even more detrimental to their health. From experience, I can tell you that if you want your child to become healthy without affecting their self worth in a negative manner, then you need to take it into your OWN hands, and not address the issue too much with your child. They are only kids, and should not be faced with anything that can ultimately hurt their mental health this early on.
I can tell you that growing up, I heard the whole spiel of, “We want you to lose weight so that you can be healthy.” Or, after I’d be restricted from certain foods, it would be because, “We’re only doing this for your own good.” While the intentions behind those words mean well, the result is your child feeling as though something is wrong with them. It is important for you to incorporate healthy changes with not just your child who is overweight, but the whole family. Make it a family affair to become healthy. Still allow your child to be a kid, but introduce some fun family activities like bike riding, walking, or swimming. Do not introduce these new changes as ways to, “Help your child to lose weight,” but rather, a way that your family can become more active all together and make better choices. By including the whole family, you’re not singling the child out, therefore the concentration is on becoming healthy as a family, and not on your child’s weight.
There are many sites out there that offer recipes and ideas for sweet treats that come with great nutritional value. EatingWell offers a variety of different chocolate recipes and shopping options that are also nutritious, along with Health.com. This way your child will not feel as though they’re missing out, and it should be more maintainable and manageable.
Though I’ve mentioned it before, I cannot stress it enough…Do not address the weight issue specifically or individually with your child. I know your intentions are heartfelt, but the end result is often a blow to the child’s ego. The focus, once again, should not be on your child’s weight or appearance at all, but the health of your family as a whole. Even if you’re a single parent with just one child, focus on making changes so that the both of you can be healthy, not just the child themselves.