Not only does obesity in children present a high risk to their overall health, but it also negatively affects the child’s emotional and social life. Overweight children are usually unpopular and are quickly excluded from groups. They are quite often ridiculed and bullied which leads them into depression and emotional instability. Therefore, it is very important to help your child lose weight, but in such a way that they don’t feel pressured and inadequate. Here are some suggestions on how you can help them lose weight in a fun, enjoyable way.
All kids just love bicycles, and cycling is a great way to lose weight as it burns many calories. It is also a good cardio workout with a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. It improves fitness and strengthens legs. Encourage your kid to ride the bike around the neighborhood if it is safe, take them to the park often, go together on cycling tours somewhere in the nature or around the city. Plan ahead and without them knowing, increase the difficulty bit by bit, go up a single notch. They will be proud of themselves for each new victory and will stay motivated.
Skating is another great activity that increases fitness, strengthens the whole body, improves the posture and keeps the back straight. It also improves movement coordination and balance and the kids become aware of their body more as they learn how to roller skate. Most importantly, skating is a lot of fun and they can skate alone or with friends.
You will be amazed to hear that 10 minutes of jumping equals 30 minutes of jogging when it comes to calorie burning. A great way to get your child to jump while having fun is a trampoline. There are trampolines at kids’ party places, as well as bouncy castles and other things kids can jump on. You can take them there once a week for example, they will love it.
The second most important thing apart from exercise is of course food. You will probably need to change your child’s diet to help them reduce their weight. Avoid all fast food and unhealthy snacks that contain sugar and replace them with healthy options. A balanced diet of vegetables, lean meat, fish and fruit will do wonders. Children should have three meals and two snacks a day. Snacks can be fruits and nuts which are very nutritious and sweets are to be avoided completely. Once your child establishes healthy eating habits, they will have a good chance of maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle when they are adults as well.
Increase water intake
Replace all drinks with water or lemonade, and increase the amount of water your child has in a day. This should be at least three glasses of water at school and another three at home. When the weather is warm, the fluid intake should be increased even more.
Most children don’t like walking if they are not used to it, so try to create a habit of walking for them. Walk together whenever you can, to the store, to the neighbor, even to school sometimes. Go for family walks in the nature during the weekend, teach them about the benefits of walking in the nature, make it an adventure and explore the world together, hunt for pine cones, look for birds and animals, learn about plants and trees together. Make sure you always bring healthy snacks and a lot of water.
Games and sports
There are many games that require intense physical activity, like jumping rope, hide-and-seek and ball games. You could get your kid a jumping ball to play with, as well as a yoga ball, and teach them some fitness exercises. If you make it a competition they will do their best to prove themselves. See if they are keen on any sports like soccer and tennis, if they are, you might want to sign them up for some classes.
There are really many ways for you to help your child lose weight the most natural way – through playing and games. Play with them, get active together and enjoy the quality time you spend together creating good memories while getting healthier.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three beautiful girls and dedicated housewife. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live”.