If you made a new year’s resolution to lose weight this year, you should feel good that you’re making steps in the right direction toward total health, but be sure that your kids are a part of the healthy food choices, not the diet.
Even though childhood obesity is a problem in today’s America, we still need to use caution with diet language around them. If they hear that mommy and daddy are on a diet or they are trying to lose weight, they may think that’s something they need to do too. If the child also struggles with weight, they may start becoming self-conscious about the way they look, which can be a slippery slope. Self-esteem can be very fragile in a young life and is hard to rebuild. Kids are still kids. Period. And they shouldn’t need to worry about their weight or struggle with body image issues. If they’re classified as overweight, parents need to take the lead to provide and encourage a routine of healthy food choices and plenty of physical activity (playing outside, dancing, etc.).
A child’s growth and development is important at all stages of childhood. Never have them try to lose weight; instead let them grow into it.
Be a role model for your kids:
- Teach them about the healthy foods you are incorporating into the family’s meals
- Show your own body respect and don’t let them hear your disappointments
- Don’t focus on the results. Focus on the journey, and reward the commitment to total health
- Try to avoid media that displays an unfair representation of how they should look
- Never compare yourself or your children to others
- Say this, not that:
|“These foods make us fat”||“These foods aren’t all that good for us”|
|“I’m dieting”||“I’m eating healthy”|
|“I’m doing this so I can lose weight”||“I’m doing this so I can be healthy” OR
“I’m doing this so I have more energy to play with you” OR
“I’m doing this so I run can faster when we’re playing tag”
|“I need to exercise so I can lose some weight”
|“I’m exercising because it helps me be healthy”|
|“Do I look fat?” OR “I’m fat” OR “I should lose some weight” OR “I don’t like the way I look” OR “I would look better if I lost some weight”
|Just don’t say it|
If you’re trying to lose weight, keep it off by making a lifestyle change that the whole family can participate in. Avoid diets that have a start and end day. The whole family would benefit from the incorporation of more healthy foods and exercise verses food restrictions and the stress that comes along with it.
Good luck on your total health goals this year!