There are certain groups of people who would like to punish parents for raising an obese child but that doesn’t solve the problem. It only adds fuel to the fire and redirects the attention from the child obesity issue. The simple solution is eating healthier foods and increasing physical activity. However, parenting an obese child is never easy and making drastic lifestyle changes means family commitment. The benefits of making it a family affair, besides the fact that the whole family will be healthier, far out weigh the health risks that your obese child will have to endure if the weight issue isn’t brought under control.
The easiest way to get going is to gradually introduce changes on a daily basis. Starting with small changes will improve the long term success for your obese child. Some examples would be limiting the amount of time spent watching television or using the computer. Maybe take a walk after dinner. The next step would be to set realistic goals as a family. Ask each family member to list what changes in lifestyle that they could live without. It should include such things as going to fast food restaurants once a month or limiting snacks in the afternoon. Then set family guidelines from their lists that are realistic. This process will need adjustments on your part. They may list eating 2 cookies instead of four and your idea may be fruit instead of cookies. Know what everyones weaknesses are and when they most experience them. For instance eliminating desert after meals. Parenting an obese child and making lifestyle changes is work. So it is important to celebrate success and find healthy rewards. This could be going to a ballgame or taking them to miniature golf. Keep in mind that these are small changes in lifestyle that will in the long run produce results. It does take time. If something isn’t working then sit down as a family and make adjustments keeping it healthy. There will be times when slip ups happen. The important thing to remember is you can start over. As these changes start to become routine increase the amount of exercise by making a schedule to take a sixty minute walk every other day as a family.
Keep It Healthy
Do an inventory of the foods and snacks in the house and discard the unhealthy items. In other words, clean out the pantry. Replace these items with more fruits and vegetables. Cook more meals at home rather than ordering out and involve your family in the meal preparation. It has been found that when children are involved in meal preparation they are more apt to eat their entire meal vegetables and all. Keep the portion sizes down to a minimum and cook only enough for one serving. Encourage eating slowly and eat meals as a family. Physical activity also needs to be included in the routine. This doesn’t mean doing strenuous exercise it could be as simple as taking the dog for a walk or setting up family chores such as taking out the trash. Small changes in lifestyle and keeping it healthy will help with parenting an obese child. One of the hardest changes to make is the computer usage and television time. It is too easy do sit down on the coach or in front of the monitor and lose track of time. This is time that could be spent getting a little exercise.
Be The Leader
The chances of your obese child having success is in your active involvement and being the role model. Children follow the lead of their parents and setting a healthy positive example will benefit everyone.
Eating more nutritious foods, limiting portion sizes, controlling television time,being more active, and keeping the junk food out of the house are all examples of being the leader. These lifestyle changes are all attainable with a little effort and by supporting each other. By following these guidelines you will find that parenting an obese child is less stressful and in time healthy lifestyle will be a normal way of life.