Obesity is a growing problem, and it is a problem that affects children as well as adults. As a parent, one of your primary goals in life is to keep your children healthy, and like it or not, maintaining an appropriate weight is an essential part of keeping your children healthy now and in the future.
Weight, however, is a sensitive topic and it is important to help your children be healthy without damaging their self-worth and confidence. The following tips can help you teach your children to be healthy without harming their psychological health and body image.
Set A Good Example
Maintaining a healthy weight is just as important to your health as it is to your children’s health. Make sure you are setting a good example.
- Let your children know that exercise is a priority for you—even if that means doing embarrassing exercise videos in your living room while your children play.
- Be aware of what you say about your body—your children are listening. Instead of talking about how fat you feel or the width of your thighs, teach your children to appreciate their bodies by appreciating yours. Having a happy healthy attitude about your body will motivate you and your children to take care of your health. Self-hatred is discouraging—not motivating.
- Eat healthy foods in front of your children.
Provide Healthy Meals And Snacks
As a parent of young children, you have almost total control over what they eat, at least when they are at home. Take advantage of this opportunity and provide healthy meals and snacks. If your children learn healthy eating habits while they are young, they’ll be more likely to keep eating healthy when they are making decisions on their own.
Focus On Function – Not Appearance
As mentioned above, self-hatred won’t encourage you or your children to live a healthy lifestyle. Instead of focusing on being thin, focus on appreciating what the body can do. Don’t teach your children that their value is based on their appearance. Instead, teach them to take care of their bodies so that they can do things they love like swimming, dancing, climbing trees, or riding bikes around the neighborhood. Take time to do these fun active things with your children so they learn to love being physically active.
Ask Your Child’s Doctor For Help
It can be difficult to know whether your child’s weight gain is a phase associated with normal growth or a serious problem. If you’re concerned about your child’s weight talk to your doctor. At Sahara Medical Institute, our doctors can help you determine what is a healthy weight for your child based on age, height, and growth patterns. Then the doctor can make recommendations to help you and your child make necessary changes. Contact us today to learn more.