With as many as 50% of all children being overweight in this country, parents are beginning to realize that something must be done. There is no shortage of information about nutrition and exercise, but the task of helping an overweight child without setting them up for a lifetime of dieting is a daunting challenge. Parents who understand the five truths of getting a childs weight on track can begin to address the issue in a healthy and effective way.
Truth #1: Parents are the problem AND the solution. Heavy kids eat too much and they dont get enough exercise. Its that simple. Parents of overweight children must own up to the fact that they are allowing and enabling their children to eat too much and move too little. Once parents accept this, they will begin to understand that they have tremendous power to solve their childs weight problem.
Truth #2: Kids need to be educated. You may know how much, and what kinds of foods your child should eat. And you may expect that your children have the common sense to know, too. But did it ever occur to you that your children really dont know? They understand that too much is bad and that some foods are better than others. But without education, they have no idea why, or what effects eating too much of the wrong things have on how they look and feel in their daily lives. Once they are educated, children take great pride in becoming good stewards of their own bodies through activity and nutrition.
Truth #3: An overweight child is a family issue. Whether one, some or all in a family are overweight, solving a childs weight problem must become a priority for the entire family. Otherwise, a child can feel singled out, different and ashamed. Getting the whole family involved helps with the childs self-esteem by letting them know they are part of a powerful team that will help ensure success.
Truth #4: Your child has an ideal weight. No two children are alike, but your child does have a normal weight range based on their height, gender and age. They also require a set number of calories each day. Knowing a childs normal weight range and knowing how many calories they require is fundamental to getting their weight on track.
Truth #5: Parents need a plan. Losing weight is not rocket science. But changing the habits and lifestyle of a family in todays busy world is difficult and multi-dimensional. Especially when the emotional well-being of a fragile overweight child is at stake Parents need a plan and they need perseverance. Many parents fail because dont have a solid, long-term plan for success.