Kids Obesity

Dealing With Responses Like”I’m Bored” – A Great Opportunity to Help Your Overweight Child

Let’s face it: We are a nation of Couch Potatoes and our “Small Fries” are learning from us how to sit in front of the TV until our rear ends expand to fill the seat.

What parent hasn’t heard the whine, “I’m bored”? In previous generations, a mom or dad might reply, “Go outside and play”. We don’t hear that –or say that–much anymore and it’s time we do. Our children and ourselves would benefit. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  • Head out for a game of tennis or pickup basketball in the driveway with your kid.
  • Ask them to teach you to use their skateboard or relive your own youth by strapping on a pair of roller blades (moms can usually fit into ones their sons outgrow).
  • ¬†Take a hike with your kids–even if its just around the neighborhood.
  • Invent a scavenger hunt.
  • Walk the dog. Walk the neighbors’ dog.
  • Plan a family camping trip (this includes pitching the tent, collecting wood for the campfire, cleaning up–and everyone helps with every chore). Once your kids find out they love camping, consider sending them to a summer weight loss camp for a few weeks.
  • Join the neighborhood “Y’ and enter into swim meets and other competitive family team sports.
  • Plant a garden with your kids (everybody digs and weeds and everybody gets to plant what they want.)
  • Clean the attic and have a rummage sale (split the proceeds with your kids in exchange for their manual labor.)
  • For family movie night,rent old swashbuckler movies like Robin Hood and Zorro (or enjoy Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean) and take up archery and fencing as family activities.
  • Join a dojo with your children and practice martial arts.
  • Teach your teenage daughter to belly (not pole) dance.
  • Take up boxing and help your whole family take out any tension on the speed bag hung in your basement.
  • Make Twister the choice for family game night (keep the Ben Gay handy if you are over 40).
  • Split wood for next year’s fires (top lumberjack honors earn a respite from family chores for a week).
  • Run–as a family–in a marathon or for a charity.
  • Sign your kids up for tap or ballet and join in (or take ballroom dance with your spouse) then have a dance-off with invited judges.
  • Take up horseback riding–offer to muck out the stables and bale hay in exchange for more lessons.
  • Go apple picking in season.
  • Offer to babysit some neighborhood toddlers (take turns doing the chasing.)

Use your imagination to add to this list. The idea is to keep moving and to make that moving fun for all. Involve your kids–engage their minds and their bodies will follow and they will be on a path of better health forever.

Diet Camps and Childhood Obesity: Teaching Your Kids To Be Healthy

It’s no secret that kids don’t always listen to what their parents say or take their advice to heart, but with childhood obesity quickly on the rise in this country, now is the time to help your child lose weight. Your child may not listen to the advice you give, but in the right environment, they may be successul in becoming healthy.

Diet camps are designed to provide an environment where obese children can learn how to manage weight loss in a healthy way, while feeling safe and positive in a summer camp setting. The camps run like typical summer camps, with social events, field trips and various classes, but they also include nutritional counseling and education. While the main focus is initially to lose weight, the kids also have a wonderful opportunity to make friends.

At diet camp, kids have tons of opportunities for fun to offset all of the hard work they do losing weight. Some campers fall in love with a new sport or hobby that they used to take part in before they gained weight, while others learn a new skill that they’ve always wanted to master. As all of this fun is going on, kids are also given the skills they need to lose weight and keep it off successfully. As the weight comes off shy, overweight kids become more sure of themselves and are more willing to participate in fun activities.

Once an overweight child has completed a diet camp session (typically lasting 4-8 weeks), they will return home with everything they need to stay active and be able to remain at their new weight in a healthy fashion. The confidence that they develop will help them start off the next school year with a positive outlook and a healthy attitude toward the future, making the investment in camp well worth the cost and time spent away from home.

To keep your child on the right track, be sure to provide them with all of the tools that they need to stay healthy. The whole family should follow healthy eating habits to maintain weight loss and should take part in regular physical activity in order to stay healthy.