Health and Your Child

We are constantly bombarded with the realization the horrors of childhood obesity; however most parents don't know how to deal with a child who has a weight issue.

Growing up I can remember going to my pediatrician every month and being scolded by him that I was overweight, then when I came home I was scolded again, then when my cousins visited I was made to feel horrible about myself because they were on average 5'7" and 115 lbs. and was treated like royalty.

So how does a parent effectively deal with a child who has a weight problem?

1. Find one thing that is not weight related and praise him and her for that aspect.

2. Make certain that you are substituting healthier options without their knowledge, I know prepare Morningstar Breakfast sausage for my father, he loves them and he still thinks he is eating pork sausage.

3. Limit their consumption of magazines that feature "ideal" looking people, most of the time the pictures are grossly airbrushed.

4. Incorporate sports as part of fun and daily life, encourage them to tryout for teams, or sign them up at the local Y for swimming and other things that they might find interesting.

5. DON'T compare at all siblings or cousins because what this does it actually creates in your child an unhealthy sense of competition, because it is so close they would constantly try to win those cousins or siblings approval and it sets up the most favored child as a bully.

6. Always use positive praise, most parents I have spoken to say they call their children names in order to motivate them to loose weight, WRONG!! Children especially teenagers internalize everything, and it does the opposite to them, it pushes them into depression.

7. Make your house a junk food free zone! Also make certain your school has a healthy food program, where they serve more whole foods and vegetables for lunch and no junk food or soda on school grounds.

8. Lastly, educate your child about the dangers of being overweight/obese, medically they should know that getting heart surgery at 25 decreases their life expectancy to 60 instead of 85.

9. Seek mental health experts who are trained in the area of childhood obesity, many children mask sexual molestation, bullying, and other traumatic experiences through food.

10. Celebrate his/ her life everyday by verbally stating how happy you are to be his/her parent.

Cheers to healthy children!!

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