To help an overweight child, you can begin with small changes to your family’s diet and lifestyle to make a healthier environment for everyone. Start by choosing one or two steps and working your way gradually into a healthier lifestyle.
Step 1. Make it a group project. Have the whole family do it together. It is much easier to adopt a healthy way of eating if everyone is on board sharing the same healthy food at meals. Family members can encourage each other, especially when the scale starts to show success! Make shopping fun and be sure to stock up on plenty of healthy food. Keeping junk food out of the house will eliminate temptation.
Step 2. Concentrate on eating healthier foods rather than concentrating on not eating unhealthy foods. Think about what you are adding rather than what you are taking away. Thinking about not eating chocolate or chips is going to make you crave them more. Instead, think about healthy options that you enjoy. It might take some time and trial and error to see which foods you like. Try new fruits and vegetables! Visit your local grocer and challenge yourself to try new things. If you say you are going to eat more fruits and vegetables you can fill up on those first and then not feel hungry or deprived. Challenge family members to find new recipes.
Step 3. Eat at the table where you are only focused on how much you are eating rather than getting distracted while doing something else. Try eating together as a family and making an event of it rather than unconscious eating in front of the TV. If you are tempted to eat late at night while watching TV try not to! If you must, have healthy snacks on hand.