We’ve talked before about how tackling childhood obesity is a family affair. Now let’s talk about how you can be the support system that your child needs to achieve long-term success.
The U in BOUNCE stands for united. Even if your child is the only member of the family trying to lose weight, it’s important to tackle childhood obesity as a family. This may mean reworking your family’s lifestyle and adopting an entirely new philosophy around the dinner table that promotes wellness and health for everyone.
Join your child in his or her efforts.
This is critical.
The most important step you can take to help your child achieve weight loss success is to be a part of the process. It’s especially important for the adults in the household since you are typically the ones in charge of shopping and food preparation. You’re also the ones modeling the behavior your child will follow. Are you mindlessly eating in front of the TV? Remember, your children are watching you.
It’s important to treat mealtimes and eating as an experience, not as a side thought. Because where you eat, what you eat, and how you eat are all important.
For example, have your child help you prepare meals. This doesn’t have to happen every day. To form the habit, perhaps start with one or two meals a week and build from there.
Reclaiming mealtime also doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. You could, for example, have your son or daughter help you get the meat and vegetables into a crock-pot in the morning. Or perhaps they could chop the vegetables for a stir-fry at night, or cut up fruit as a snack or for dessert. Younger children, meanwhile, can help by washing produce or setting the table.
The benefits of being united as a family aren’t just about weight loss. Research shows that kids who cook with their families and sit down to dinner are not only healthier but also have fewer substance abuse problems and do better in school. So let’s unite as a family and thrive.
We’d love to hear from you! What are the challenges you are facing in changing your family’s health habits? Let us know in the comments so that we can help.