Seven Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Child Lose Weight

If your child is overweight they’re not alone. Thousands of children across the country are dealing with the same issues. Childhood obesity is a common problem. The good news is that the problem can be reversed. And parents can help. Here are seven things you can do right now to help your child lose weight.

#1 Make a commitment to eat better yourself. Children look to the adults in their life to be role models. If you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle, you’re showing your child that taking care of their body and their health isn’t important. Right now, today, make a commitment to take better care of yourself. Make healthier choices.

#2 Clean out your cupboards and refrigerator. Chances are your home (like many others) is stocked with food that just isn’t good for you. Chips, cookies and white flour baked goods are all foods that need to be tossed in the garbage. Get rid of the soda and sugary drinks too. If it has high fructose corn syrup or sugar on the beverage label, throw it out.

#3 Replace the junk food with healthy options. Replace pretzels with whole grain pretzels. Replace the chips with whole grain crackers. Buy some cheese and apples for a nice snack. Grab carrots, celery and hummus for a tasty treat. Buy yogurt, nuts, fruit and whole grain cereals too. Children enjoy snacking. Make sure they have healthy snacks to choose from.

#4 Start serving two vegetables at each meal. Vegetables fill you up. They’re also low in calories and extremely good for you. Your child will resist, especially if their sweet tooth is very strong. Be patient. Ask them to try the vegetables. Their sweet tooth will be tamed after time and they will learn to enjoy vegetables.

#5 Make them breakfast in the morning. Make sure breakfast is healthy. There are many options, such as whole grain waffles with a smear of natural peanut butter; yogurt with granola and berries; scrambled eggs and toast. Or try a smoothie with fresh fruit, yogurt and a little protein powder. Your child will start the day with a healthy breakfast that will last for hours.

#6 Get outside with them right now. Get their body moving. Take a walk. Ride your bike. Head to the nearest pool and go for a swim. Do something that gets them off the couch and away from their electronic device of choice.

#7 Sign them up for a sport or activity. There are two causes for weight gain: poor food choices and inactivity. With guidance, food choices will change over time. However, you can help them get active right now. Find out what your child likes to do or is interested in and help them get started. Do they like to:

* Rock climb?
* Ride their bike?
* Dance?
* Ice skate or play hockey?
* Box or learn martial arts?
* Swim?
* Run?

There are lots of fun things a child can do. Activity doesn’t have to feel like exercise.

Help your child start losing weight right now. Clean out those cupboards. Plan and shop for healthy meals and snack options. Help them start moving their body and burning calories today. You’re the best role model they have; be a good one.

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