According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 14.7 million children are medically obese in the United States. If you are concerned about your child's weight, it is important that you start working with your child's doctor immediately to help your child live a healthier life. Here are a few things you can do as a parent to help your child with weight management.
Encourage Your Child to Sleep
If your child is not active and would rather eat a snack and watch television instead of playing outside with friends, the issue might be your child's sleep habits. When your child is not getting enough sleep, they will not be as active, and if your child becomes bored due to inactivity, they might turn to food as a source of entertainment.
Talk to your doctor about how much sleep your child should be getting according to their age. There are other things you can do to help improve the quality of your child's sleep. For example, read your child a bedtime story, take the television out of your child's room, and ensure your child's room is dark and quiet.
Enjoy Healthy Eating Habits as a Family
Many people love to enjoy an unhealthy snack before bed and keep their cupboards filled with cakes, cookies, and other unhealthy foods. Unfortunately, when your child has access to these foods, they will not be as successful in their weight loss journey. Encourage your child to eat healthy by eating healthy yourself. Cook healthy meals as a family and stock your fridge and cupboards with healthy snacks.
Make it fun to enjoy healthy eating as a whole family.
Help Your Child Get Active
Instead of allowing your child to spend their weekends in front of the television or playing games on their tablet, encourage your child to get active. Make this a family activity, just like enjoying healthy meals and snacks. For example, pack a healthy meal and take your child on a hike through a nearby park.
Sign your child up for softball, football, soccer, or another organized sport, and cheer your child on during their practices and games.
Stop Focusing on the Scale
Finally, instead of focusing on your child's weight, focus on how eating healthy and exercising can help your child feel. Your child's success and health should not be a reflection of a number on a scale; instead, you should be celebrating your child's commitment to their new healthy lifestyle.
From focusing on healthy eating to ensuring your child is getting more sleep, there are several ways you as a parent can help manage your child's weight.