It’s never easy being the fat kid. Overlooked to play sports with or unnoticed by a crush; being overweight is difficult on the body but as a kid the real damage is on their potential social life. It is heartbreaking to see your child become reclusive and not enjoying their childhood. However, they need help and not your sympathy to rectify these issues to ensure a healthy, successful adulthood.
Overeating is understood better by looking at its roots. Food becomes a means of self-medicating; a bad day at school might transcend into an afternoon of junk food. Issues are avoided and food is used to temporarily heal.
There are more overweight kids than ever, but it is not normal or socially accepted. The chubby kid makes friends with food, the accepting and always enjoyable- food. Who wouldn’t want a friend like that? For them food is not mere sustenance it is a constant companion. It comes to the point, that food is no longer appreciated it’s just mindlessly eaten.
As adults, these children become socially behind, avoiding interaction. Out at a party, or any social event, they keep close to the food. This proximity allows them to avoid conversation and be the first to enjoy each course.
Physical activity is absent in the lives of overweight children. They become stationary beings but the human body was not designed to take on calories and not work them off. It needs to move to keep all systems functioning. When you become inactive, your body slows down; muscles become less firm and increasingly useless. For a child, it could age them faster. The excess weight would slow down the normal functionality of their organs and limbs.
Having your child start a healthy routine will be challenging and most likely met with resistance, but it is possible. They will be anxious at first – to enjoy the outdoors, to take part in sports, to simply involve themselves in anything physical but it has to be done. The best way to engage a resistant child is to join in with them; show them that it’s fun! Get them excited about moving! – Take small trips, weekend escapes that involve physical activity; hiking, biking or swimming.
Encourage them further by setting goals and rewarding milestones reached! Keep them challenged by always adjusting goals!
Ways to add fitness:
Get them a pedometer– Kids love their gadgets, so seeing the numbers increase, will keep them motivated.
Discover Nature Trails-Wilderness trails will allow your child to get up close with wildlife and learn about the environment.
Scavenger Hunt-Make your outdoor activity into a game by making a map and list of items to collect. They will have so much fun they won’t notice the distance covered.
Avoid making excuses for your own exercise, such as a long day at work; they will do the like with their full day at school. They might say recess and gym class is enough. Be ready to counter those excuses; if they complain of being too tired, let them know exercise only creates energy!
An obese child in many cases has one parent or both overweight. It’s genetics but lifestyle is the real determinant. One member’s serious addiction to overeating is everyone’s problem; all must work to create an atmosphere which fosters good health. At all times let them know that their health is a family affair and you are all in it together!
Involve your child in choosing fresh fruits and vegetables. Have them select their own snacks, with the only condition being that it must be healthy! Children will love being given responsibility such as this, it will empower them!
You can make healthy eating a family affair by keeping your home void of high sugar drinks, deep fried foods, or high sodium snacks. Instead, keep stocked on fresh fruits and nuts to enjoy. Invest in a blender to create smoothies and juices. Blendtec blenders are a line of blenders that are tough for daily use. They make delicious drinks or other homemade treats fast!
There is an old Irish proverb stating “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book”, though a romantic ideal, good health encompasses so much more. It starts with a commitment to change! Making simple changes to your lifestyle will greatly benefit your child and their future.
About the Author
Passionate about healthy eating, Debra, Certified Family and Nutritional Herbalist, believes that the right tools at home can help make healthy meals fun and interesting; such as a Tom Dickson extreme blender.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to help their children maintain a healthy weight.
Image courtesy of FBellon via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.