Weight-smart tips to help overweight children

With September here, schedules are
being set with activities and classes for the months running up till Christmas.
School has resumed, bringing an end to the easy days of summer, providing more
structure and time demands for both parents and children.  September is a time for making schedules, new
rules and changes.

As we know, the level of physical
fitness and increase in obesity among children is a concern in many countries,
including Cayman. The beauty and fortunate aspect of this problem is that there
are so many solutions and answers to help children and teenagers slim
down.  In conjunction with an upcoming
weight loss program for teenagers being offered by Lifestyles, the next four
columns in the Caymanian Compass will be dedicated to the theme of parents and
overweight children and teenagers.

As many parents can attest to,
trying to help an overweight child can be challenging and frustrating.  Some children are too young to take on the responsibility
of managing their own eating habits, and it is up to the parents to guide and
determine what their children eat.  Other
children already have developed emotional food-related issues and need
professional outside support as weight loss becomes a battle between parent and
child.  With tender care, this situation
can be changed giving children and teens an opportunity to develop healthy


Helpful tips

If you have overweight children,
here are tips to help them and your entire family live healthy, well and

Develop an understanding of
nutrition and teach your children these facts, implementing them into your
family’s daily diet.

Sit down and discuss why health and
fitness are important goals. Make a family decision to improve the quality of
your overall lifestyle.

Identify problem areas such as too
much junk food in the house or families not sitting down to meals together.
Busy parents relying on fast-foods and processed foods for quick and easy ways
to feed their children are setting up the foundation for future problems. 

Discuss types of physical
activities that everybody can participate in, such as a walk before or after dinner,
Saturday morning bike ride or Sunday afternoon walk in the Botanic Park or
Mastic trail.

Reassess what is in the grocery
cart and make healthier choices, especially in the areas of snack foods and
drinks, two items children love.  What
you do not bring home, they cannot eat, so minimize or eliminate junk food.

Be sensitive to an overweight
child.  Talk to them about weight matters
rather than being critical or making jokes. Work with them as a friend.

Enrol your children and teens in
programs that will enhance their self-esteem and provide the extra physical
activity that is so lacking in today’s school curriculum and home life.

As you equip your children and
teens with essential health habits, you are enabling them to be their best in
other areas of life as well.

As parents, you are the essential
role models for your children.  By developing
healthy lifestyle habits yourself, you may discover how readily your children
will be to follow you.

Please email me at [email protected]
if you would like more information on the teen weight loss program soon to be
commencing.  As a formerly overweight
teenager myself, it’s exciting to see how we can help Cayman’s children become
their best.

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