We all want our kids to be their healthiest and at a weight that feels good to them. You likely know by now that weight and health issues can go hand in hand, but what about weight and vanity? Or, extra weight and other beliefs like laziness or lack of discipline? While as a parent, it is our job to keep our kids (and ourselves) well, your adult thoughts, judgments, and beliefs around diets or thinness can certainly threaten to interfere.
On this week’s podcast, I had the chance to sit down with Pediatrician and Life Coach Sheila Carroll, MD to talk about how she empowers parents to empower their kids. Here are a couple of takeaways from our talk. Give a listen HERE.
Foster a Positive and Supportive Environment
Creating a positive and supportive environment at home is crucial when addressing weight or other health issues in children. Avoid negative comments, criticism, or shame related to their weight. Rather, the focus can be on promoting a healthy lifestyle and emphasizing the importance of overall well-being.
Lead by Example
Children are more likely to adopt healthy habits when they see their parents practicing them. Make sure to model healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and a balanced approach to food. Incorporate nutritious meals and snacks into the family’s routine and engage in physical activities together, such as going for walks, playing sports, or taking part in fun exercises.
Encourage Balanced and Mindful Eating
Teach your child about balanced nutrition and the importance of consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Help them understand portion sizes and encourage mindful eating practices, such as eating slowly, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, and avoiding distractions like screens during meals. More importantly, take the time to get educated yourself rather than relying on fad diets and trends.
Involve Children in Planning and Preparation
Engaging children in meal planning and preparation can increase their interest in healthy foods and help them develop important life skills. Allow them to choose fruits, vegetables, and other healthy ingredients while grocery shopping. In the kitchen, involve them in age-appropriate tasks like washing vegetables, measuring ingredients, or assisting in simple cooking tasks. This involvement can foster a sense of ownership and curiosity about healthy eating.
Encourage Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Encourage your child to engage in activities they enjoy, such as swimming, dancing, cycling, or team sports. Limit sedentary activities like excessive screen time and encourage them to participate in outdoor play or family activities that involve movement. Additionally, provide opportunities for physical activity by organizing family outings or signing them up for sports or other active hobbies.
Remember, every child is unique, and weight issues should be approached with sensitivity and care. Consulting with a healthcare professional or nutrition coach can provide tailored guidance and support for your child’s specific needs.
To reach out to Sheila for more guidance you can click HERE.