One of my missions in life as a parent is to teach my children about a healthy weight, it’s extremely difficult to work on this subject for my middle son has an appetite that is out of this world. I also want to be very careful not to have my children, specifically my daughter, ever think that they have to be a certain weight to be beautiful or handsome. Weight for me is about heart health, for I suffer from high cholesterol as well as high blood pressure. Thankfully my blood pressure usually peaks up for about 2-3 months then back down to a regular level with some diet and lifestyle changes, but it’s something I constantly have to watch.
There are ways to teach your children to maintain a healthy level of weight without sacrificing their self-esteem and here are some ways in which I encourage a healthy lifestyle without destroying the confidence of my trio.
Go Outside and Play … we often shut off all electronics and head outside for play time. Doesn’t matter what they are doing, during warm weather months it is necessary to spend time outdoors. Period.
Walk to or From School … we are blessed to live within walking distance to both schools, I mean the small town we live in really is just a one mile walk downtown so that helps us to walk often.
Monitor Food Intake … this is a new thing that I have been doing, I actually measure out the cereal for both of my sons each night and place in a sandwich bag. I found out my middle child had been over eating before I got out of bed, 3 bowls of cereal to be exact, so this helps keep them under control.
Provide Food Options … I try my best to not buy sugary treats, I much prefer to have fruits or healthier snack bars around, I am not perfect but I do make a conscious effort to provide healthier snacks & food.
Play Games, not Video Games … the kids and I come up with the oddest of games to play, in this home we are currently renting we like to keep doors open and head outside to play a game of hide n seek that actually allows us to move from our locations, this is fabulous exercise and family time.
There are many ways to encourage a healthy weight among your children, the easiest place to start is to just be one with family, think about the forts you made as a kid outside with sticks. Think about all of your own old school childhood outside time, and instill those good habits into your children. I don’t care what they say about times changing, I still insist that we spend time both as a family and as individuals outside using our imagination and getting some exercise!