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Old 08-20-2009, 05:52 AM   #1
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Exclamation how should parents motivate their kids to stay healthy???

Yesterday i visited my aunt who has a 10 years son.....i last saw him 2 years ago and he was perfect in shape according to his age...but after 2 years he has put on a lot of weight....my aunt was complaing that he doesnt listen to much and eats a lot of junk food...so how can my aunt persuade him to lose weight...plsss help
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
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Well, he's 10, so he's pretty much at her mercy. If she doesn't BUY the junk food, he can't eat it. If she doesn't let him sit around and play video games (or do whatever he does that's not "exercise") then he can't do it. IMO, the best way to get this boy back on track is for your aunt to take charge, keep healthier food in the house and get him active again...

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Old 08-20-2009, 07:54 AM   #3
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And lead by example!

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:01 AM   #4
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Default RE : how to influence your child to stay healthy

Here are some tips for parents whose child are overweight:-
1.Don't forbid any foods, simply limit them. If your kids want to go to McDonalds occasionally, fine. Just don't make it a regular occurrence.
2.Don't force your child to eat if they are not hungry. Children's appetite vary and often during a "growing spurt" they lose their appetite. Don't worry when this happens, as soon as their growing spurt is over you will find they eat extra to make up.
3.Encourage them to snack on healthy carbs like whole grain cereals with low-fat milk, whole grain bread with a light spread of peanut butter and jelly, or fruit spread or fruit breads.
4.Encourage them to eat fresh fruit regularly(keep it on our dining table or on your fridge).
5. Make salads more interesting by adding fruits like grapes, sections of mandarin orange, chunks of pineapple, sliced peaches.

Take walks with your child after meals
Take up sports which the whole family can do
Teach kids how to swim and ride bikes at an early age
Don't encourage kids to watch TV and limit computer time
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TwynnB View Post
And lead by example!
Absolutely! It's something the parents will also have to do...And since YOU are already on a journey to a healthier life, you can be an example for ALL of them!!

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Old 08-20-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MindiV View Post
Well, he's 10, so he's pretty much at her mercy. If she doesn't BUY the junk food, he can't eat it.
While I agree with keeping junk out of the house helps. By 10, she's no longer in complete control of what he eats. I got a lot of junk food from friends' houses as a kid and I traded my lunch with other kids at school. Spent my weekly allowance at the school ice cream line at lunch.

One thing I've heard of is tayloring the diet to the kids interests. i.e.- if the kid likes basketball, talk to him about how pro basketball players have to eat certain foods to stay on top of their game. And instead of a "healthy" meal, it's a "slam dunk" meal.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:05 PM   #7
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Lots of good things here so far!

One thing I would add would be that schools, while they usually teach some sort of nutrition.. do not spend enough time on it. And if the teacher is teaching the health part (as when I was teaching school), it is sent by the wayside if other academics need the time. Some teachers breezed through it because it was like taking a hard look at the way they themselves ate - not comfortable at all!

So as a parent, you cannot rely on the school to teach proper nutrition - or even to provide proper nutrition during meals (I remember another recent post at 3FC providing a school lunch menu that was ATROCIOUS).

You have to teach them how to make the right decisions, not just model for them. Teach them how to read food labels - it is a lifetime skill that is so necessary. Show them that there are healthy alternatives to things they like. For example, my soon to be 8 year old LOVES bologna and cheese sandwiches for lunch. So when I started my eating plan, everyone in the family started looking at the food labels & watching fat intake. At the grocery store, we compared his regular bologna, cheese, & bread for both fat & calories to low-fat bologna, cheese & whole grain bread. Then, he CHOSE the one he thought he should have. It was the right one, and it was his decision. He is very much like me - I hate people telling me what to do. Kids at this age hate that, too. So it has to be their decision.. we can guide them and show them, but they have to have the power to make the choice. He is very happy with his decision and now drives me crazy at the store checking all the labels for his favorite things. LOL! It is worth it, though.

The only way I can see helping your aunt's son, would be if your aunt would take an active role in modeling & teaching him. But that would meaning maybe learning a lot herself first - it would be worth it, but not easy. You can find good kids materials here:

http://www.mypyramid.gov/kids/ -- downloadable stuff in the classroom materials link, too

and here:


Hope this helps!
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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It is never to early to teach healthy eating habits. I agree with all the above post. I think portion control is the major problem with obesity in the USA. We are living in a "super sized" society,every thing is proportioned and sized to look like that is how much should be eaten. I have 6 children all boys all different body sizes. what we have worked on most(as well as I had to realize this too) was how much we should be eating. I weigh and measure as well as when we are in the grocery we go over serving sizes constantly. At 10 whether you buy junk or not he will find it, so if she teacha and encourages healthy eating habits maybe it will work. Also getting out from in front of the TV/Computer?gaming system has to help.

Most schools systems by now have developed healthy lunches and are using more eco-friendly and health-friendly ways of cooking. The milk/juices are definately healthier and they offer healthier items than when I attended school. Also even in K-4 they now have regualy Physical education classes that teach as well as discuss healthy bodies.

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Old 09-25-2009, 07:41 AM   #9
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Truthfully, if parents would start the moment they are born they could teach their children to eat healthy. My grandson is 9 years old and his favorite foods are talapia, sushi and broccoli. Why, because his mom introduced him to healthy foods as soon as he could eat regular food. He eats desserts like other kids, his favorite is the lava cake, which he loves, but he has never had a soft drink and now he cannot tolerate them. He doesn't sit around and eat chips and junk.

All the previous suggestions are right on. Obesity is a disease that can be eliminated, but parents have to quit driving through McDonalds and stay home and cook. I work the medical clinic at my grandson's school and the cafeteria is at the end of that hall so everyone that comes in to eat with their kids pass by. All you see is parents who ran through the fast food joint to join their kids for lunch. For crying out loud, how long does it take to make a turkey sandwich. Unlike my parents' generation, most of my generation worked outside the home and we seemed to find time to cook for our family. We just weren't savvy to the harm fat and sugar were to our kids.

Down to the bare bones is this, being a good parent takes planning so get off your butt on your days off and plan for the kids lunches and dinners then. Do what you can before hand so you aren't stressed out and are tempted to stick chips and twinkies in their lunch boxes. For heaven's sake, bypass school lunches and pack the kids their lunch. In fact, have them help, it goes a long way to teaching proper nutrition.

raw veggies or fruit instead of chips (you can get individual fruits in cups so you just toss them in their lunchboxes)
lowfat lunch meats like 98% ff ham or better yet turkey and whole grain breads
sugar free jello or make your own and stick fun stuff in it
Cubes of lowfat cheese, lowfat crackers
Buy whole grain cereals instead of the garbage full of sugar with nothing nutritional at all
Eggs are not the enemy, a boiled egg in the lunchbox occasionally is not a sin so go for it
Oatmeal should be a lifelong love for kids. Jazz it up with a little honey, some dried cranberries, etc
peanut butter is not the enemy though many schools don't allow it due to the allergy problem, which is amusing since I don't know of one kid I went to school with having an attack from nuts hmmmmmmmm
Bottom line tell them NO It won't damage them permanently not to buy something they see on tv
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