Fat kids and low self-image almost go hand in hand. Kids who are overweight need a healthy, balanced eating plan without damaging their self-image that is already damaged.
It is important to remember that it is better to handle the problem when it is small. It is much easier to handle 2 extra kilos than 5 or, God forbid, 20.
A family can really help kids in their hard task of losing weight. Changing family habits can make it much easier for the struggling child, not to mention that everyone in the family can benefit from it too. It is always better to develop habits that become part of life rather than eating 3-4 months of yucky food.
Instead of making it look like the kid is on a diet because he is fat, it is better to say, “We all need to take care of ourselves and we are all going to eat healthier from now on”. If you present it like this, it is much easier for your child, but requires all other family members to participate.
Remember, it is hard for your kid to eat what you do not have at home. So if you find yourself saying, “He/she eat sweets all the time”, pay attention to what you buy. If you did not have candies at home, your child would not be able to eat them, right?!
I have a very good friend whose teen son is very very very heavy and eats chocolates all the time. She asked me for tips to help him lose weight. I asked her some question to find out where she could make a change.
- Where does he get his chocolates from?
- Does he have his own money?
- Do they sell chocolates in the school Canteen (I know they do not, because it is now illegal in Australia to serve sweets in the school Canteen)?
From her answers, I discovered that the mother, who was a skinny woman herself, ate chocolates “in bulk”. On her shopping list, she had chocolate as a permanent item and she was buying about 3-4kg (9lbs) of chocolate a week!
Do not put an obstacle in front of a blind man
– Jewish Proverb
Get these temptations out of the house. Get rid of the ice creams, the cakes, the snacks, the candies and bring home lots of fruits and vegetables. If you go to the shop and 2/3 of your trolley is in packets and boxes, you are being cruel to your overweight kid.
Help you kid find a physical activity they can do and enjoy. I would not recommend activities that only highlight their overweight difficulties. If it is hard, find a physical activity you can do together as a family.
Remember, 3-4 months of doing it together with mom and dad could save your kid lots of heartache that otherwise would take years, if not a whole life of struggle.