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weight loss for kids

Posted by on Aug. 6, 2016 at 2:14 PM
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I hope I don't get bashed on here. :(

The beginning of the month, ds had a doctor apt and I realized how bad off I put him. Grossly obese, bad blood work, etc.

I'm not making CRAZY changes but small ones. Eating veggies, no meals all day long, no fast food, no soda.. trying to have a more balanced meal, eating dinner around 4-5, plus a snack at 8/8:30 (depends on when practice ends, we leave for practice at either 4:30 or 5:30. It runs until 8).

But how can I get him more on board without pointing out his bad weight and habits? He already knows, but I don't want to constantly throw it in his face.

Like today, all he's talked about is getting chipotle, getting upset that I'm saying no to chipotle, mcd, taco bell, Wendy's, even subway. It's not gonna happen. I told him MAYBE twice a month, the 13th and the end of the month, as long as we do good. But we're also heading to the state fair so I know we'll be eating fried crap. Not a lot but some. But I figure we'll be there for about 5 hrs, plus we already walked almost 6 miles earlier today. In total, we've walked a little over 10 miles this month.

I'm trying to get him to understand what carbs do to his body, what an overload of sugar does, etc. But it's a lot of "big words" that he isn't grasping and I suck at explaining.
by on Aug. 6, 2016 at 2:14 PM
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musicpisces
by Suzanne on Sep. 7, 2016 at 2:09 AM

What does he LIKE?  Start there.  He's a young boy, and when he goes off to college, he's going to eat what he wants.  He will also eat what's convenient.  So while ideally there would be zero fast food, tons of veggies, etc, if he's not on board, it's not going to stick.

Chipotle isn't the worst thing, just don't get tortillas.  Order a salad, and make healthy choices for toppings.  Teach him how to make healthier choices at the places he likes when you DO go.  Don't get some chalupa with extra sour cream at Taco Bell.  Pintos and cheese, a burrito without the tortilla (they'll do this!  I've had them do it!), even the regular tacos or tacos fresca aren't awful.  Wendy's chili isn't terrible, and it's high in protein (and sodium, yes).  Pore over the menu, and look where you can make changes that are better, even if not perfect.

Get him involved in food/meal prep.  He needs to learn how to take care of himself, and if he's part of the process, he will be more invested.  If my son helps me make a salad, he is WAY more likely to try a little of the toppings he normally won't touch (like avocado or celery).  You'll be helping him have the skills for when he's on his own.  Teach him quick and easy food prep (he's not going to spend 2 hours prepping a meal- be realistic!).

One thing I love about my son helping me with food prep is that we talk about the food as we're making it.  We talk about the nutrients, the vitamins and minerals, how they help the body.  I remember my son being 3 or 4 and helping me make guacamole and saying, "I'm squishing the healthy fats!"  We talk about how his food choices impact his teeth (dental issues thanks to his dad) and his training (he does karate and triathlons).  The kid (now 8) still loves Orange Crush and hot dogs like any other kid, but by finding salad dressing he likes, asking him what veggies we should have for dinner, having him help prep meals, and otherwise getting him invested, he's learning and he's eating more healthy foods than he likely would otherwise.

Also, show him how much sugar is in beverages.  This can be very powerful.  Look it up online, and then have him scoop up the volume of sugar in beverages he likes.  Scary!!

If he feels deprived, he's going to hide his poor eating habits from you, which will be even harder to beat.  I did this as a kid, and I see kids at my son's school do this, as I am on the wellness committee.  There are some militant parents, and their kids are the worst at lunch for trading for crappy foods.  

Teach him portion control and "sometimes" foods.  Maybe a small weekly dessert or something when he's stayed on track or some other way of portioning out unhealthy foods might be motivating for him.

Showing him how better choices will impact the things important to him now will also help.  How old is he?  Is he into girls?  What sports does he like?  Does he want to be faster/stronger/whatever-er?  His age will help with figuring out how to explain some of this to him.  You might even do some Google searches for explaining nutrition to kids his age.

Suzanne

"Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want right now."

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