Putting your child on a diet may seem like the most sensible way to help them lose weight, but bear in mind that there are more enjoyable and less restrictive options.
By encouraging a healthy lifestyle from new angles, you could help your child address not only their weight, but also any issues of low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
Below is a simple guide from Nutritionist Resource
that can help your child reach a healthy weight without the pressures or negative associations of a diet.
Make healthy food swaps and reduce portion sizes
Help your child lose weight by encouraging more of the good stuff and less of the bad. While treats are fine on occasion, lots of fruit and veg combined with portion control are key to maintaining a healthy weight.
High-calorie foods such as chicken nuggets, fizzy drinks and other highly processed goods should be replaced with wholemeal options and fibre-rich foods, as well as filling proteins such as dairy, lean meats and eggs.
Make lifestyle changes for the whole family
Involve all members of the family in both diet changes and exercise to prevent your teens from feeling singled out from everyone else. Going on bike rides, joining exercise classes and making the same food swaps together is a great opportunity to bond and will ease your teens into new lifestyle changes more smoothly.
Look for opportunities to talk about the importance of nutrition
Try to encourage ongoing conversations with your child about making healthy lifestyle and food choices. You can educate your children about healthy weight tools such as portion size, nutrition labels and exercise guidelines. Avoid using negative terms such as ‘weight’ or ‘dieting’ and emphasise the benefits of better skin, healthier bodies and shiny hair.
Limit TV viewing and gaming
While children and teens are entitled to their down time in front of the TV or playing their games consoles, too much can impact activity and sleep levels. A lack of sleep and physical activity can lead to weight gain, so make a conscious effort to encourage social distractions such as getting them involved in cooking, or arranging activities and days out.