How to Help a Child Lose Weight

How to Help a Child Lose Weight

You drop your kid off at school and you see him run up to his group of friends before class starts. He’s bigger than the rest of them, in fact his weight has impaired his ability to keep up with them as they run to class.

We, as parents, want only the best for our children, their happiness and health is a priority in our lives. How to help a child lose weight is surprisingly a lot easier than you think. Children are able to adapt quickly, therefore, with a few adjustments you can change your child’s habits and give them a foundation for the rest of their lives.

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First off, you need to know that child obesity is not only an appearance or ability issue. Overweight children are more likely to gain weight as they age, leading to a number of health related problems. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease are all major and common side effects of obesity.

Now, we all want the best for our children, so how can we help them? Many cases of childhood obesity are direct results of poor diet. It is your job as a parent to choose what foods you keep in the fridge, cupboards and pantry.

Since children mostly eat what their parents make them, it’s your responsibility to feed your child meals that are not high in fat or sugar.

It’s a Meal Deal!

Now you might think that making healthy meals are a lot of work, however, healthy doesn’t always mean you have to spend an hour in the kitchen.

Healthy meals can be something as easy as two scrambled eggs and some chopped up fruit. Something as simple as a spoon of peanut butter or a cup of low fat greek yogurt can substitute for an unhealthy snack.

nutrient dense foods

Ultimately, you want your kid to eat more nutrient dense foods rather than high calorie, high fat and sugary foods. Of course, even as an adult you sometimes need that slice of cake your co worker brought to work or that delicious slice of pizza on a Saturday night. So, allow your kids to enjoy foods that aren’t considered healthy once in a while in moderation.

If you restrict children from having treats, chances are the craving will intensify, leading them to find loop holes and eating three slices of pizza rather than one.

Move Along

Another crucial step for a healthy child is exercise. Do not fear! Making your kids exercise is a lot easier than you think. Now I’m not saying send your child to a bootcamp or make him run two miles a day, you need to make the idea of being active fun.

If he’s interested in sports sign him up for one, he’ll make a ton of new friends and get active. If one of his friends is in a sports team, encourage your child to go with them and try it out.

make the idea of being active fun

If your child isn’t into team sports go on hikes and jogs together a few times a week. It’s a fun way to bond with your kid and a great way to promote exercise and healthy behaviors in an exciting way.

How we Look at Food

Lastly, some changes parents need to make are what they say to their children regarding food. Do not treat junk food as a reward. Bad food should not be a reward because then you are making it sound like healthy food is a punishment.

Do not tell your child he is too fat, or needs to lose weight. Bullying your child to encourage them is only going to make him feel bad about himself/herself without changing his/her habits.

Food is fuel, you need it to live and you need to make sure your kids are aware of what they put in their bodies and its long term effects. Ultimately, you, as a parent are trying to change your child’s life for the better.

Not only does helping your child lose weight make them healthier but it also will make your kid a much healthier and happier person. How to help a child lose weight comes down to you and educating your child about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating. The time you put aside today to help your child will shape their future and the habits they follow when they’re older.

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16 thoughts on “How to Help a Child Lose Weight

  1. Great advice here. I, personally, was that overweight kid at school, and you’re right- it carries on into adulthood if you’re not careful. Luckily, I worked hard in a physical job and got fit as I got older, so some of the weight came off- though I still have a way to go.
    I agree that junk food should never be a reward. Kids are too young to understand the potential damage that this mindset is going to have on them in later life….the parents need to realise that they’re hardwiring bad messages into their children’s brains.
    Thanks for sharing this, I hope people take note!

    1. Hi Chloe,

      It’s nice to have the opinion of someone who suffered through this as a child – it’s also great to hear how you tackled it head on! Don’t give up! 🙂

  2. I have always wondered how a parent could help their child lose weight. I see so many overweight children, and it just makes me sad. I, too, am overweight, and I need to start working on losing weight so my child will not pick up my bad eating habits. I liked your ideas on how to introduce a child to healthy eating and helping them get into exercising. I am sure to use your tips in my life and my future child’s life.

  3. I am enjoying navigating around your website and reading your great articles. This article caught my attention as I have a boy under 2 years old. I learned a lot reading your blogs today as they addressed many of my concerns. I am trying to stick to basics of setting an example, providing healthy options and getting outside with my energetic boy. I can help promote an active lifestyle and be a good role model!

  4. You have some very valid points about the choices we make as parents that will ultimately lay out the possible future path of our children.

    As parents, it is up to us on how we educate them about food choices and activities.

    As you have mentioned it is best by being involved by doing activities with them or having them doing some sports, they like with friends and teammates.

    Making proper food choices that you eat as a family to set them in motion for the habits and perception to eat properly for themselves later.

    Great content as usual!

    1. Thanks Travis – and thanks once again for a great comment adding to our article! Always great to see you back here! 🙂

  5. Fine article on obesity in our children, you know when driving past the school in my home town which is only a few blocks from my house I am amazed at the size of the children today. I just think how over weight these poor children will be as young teenagers and adults if they keep gaining so much weight, junk food as we have given the name is too abundant in our lives today. Its not a extra treat like when we were children, its a part of the children’s daily diet most days now.

    I like very much your article and your wishing to help children with their weight plan, very good intention you have I wish you the best.

    1. Thanks mate! I actually live in the UK so the child obesity problem probably isn’t quite as bad over here…but there are certain cases! Feel free to share the article wherever you see fit.

  6. You make some very interesting points on how parents could be treating their children’s eating habits. An eye opener for me was the one not to promote junk food as some sort of price. Many of us never thought this way and I will certainly heed attention to this. Our two sons are away to school from 8 to 4 and have a midday meal at school, which usually is good food, although I do not know about the sugar content. At home they are getting used to healthy food. Believe it or not, our town has no McDonalds! So they rarely get this and as you said, they do not even miss it.

    1. Well that’s a pretty cool situation to be in Jerry – McDonalds rarely offers ANYTHING healthy regardless of the new ad campaigns they have up!

      It’s great to hear that your children are being fed the right way at home – unfortunately that’s not the case for a majority of families…

  7. Great article, very informative 🙂 I definitely believe in a balanced diet and I was lucky enough to have a mom that emphasizes fruits and greeny leaves in my diet from a young age. The obesity epidemic in the U.S. can go down drastically if more people thought like you!

    1. Hi Sade, great to hear that you enjoyed the article. 

      Yeah I had (have) a mom similar to yours – she would make both me and my sister eat good food – never leave any vegetables on the plate etc. 

      It’s certainly down to the parents at the end of the day. 

  8. HI ChrisEvans,
    I enjoyed your article. It is true there is way to much child obesity. I have always tried to eat healthy but I do not always. I have children who like to eat junk food. And I used to figure at least they are eating especially when they would go through those phases of not wanting to eat. So I would give in and get them pizza or other fast foods. But then it hit me I was the parent and they where making food choices that I was allowing. You are right that it starts with the parents. So I began to find healthier alternatives to foods they liked. They haven’t always gone over well but I continue to try. Luckily as of now they do not have weight issues but I do not want them to get there. Great ideas on how to introduce exercise to your child and good advice in giving them junk food once in a while.

    1. Hi once again Monica – great to have you back here!

      No, not all the healthy choices that you offer children will go down well…but some will stick (usually the things you suspect they’ll NEVER like!). 

      I always find that raw carrot sticks are a good starting point – 99% of kids seem to like these…and I quite like them myself! 🙂

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