5 Family Lifestyle Changes to Make When Concerned About Your Child or Teen’s Weight
Are you concerned about your child or teen’s weight but feel unsure of how to help them? Or maybe you want to talk with them, but you feel unsure of how to do it for fear of creating an emotional issue or having it affect your relationship? Maybe your pediatrician expressed concern about your child or teen’s growth curve at a recent visit but you just don’t know how to address it at home? You may have talked to your child about your concern and it left you feeling guilty and bad about the conversation.
If any of this sounds like you, guess what? You’re not alone.
The truth is there’s a positive way to approach it by making nutrition and health a family affair And it all starts with you!
Here are 5 family lifestyle tips you can make right now. So many clients have made these changes to help get family nutrition back on track and they’ve seen great results.
#1 Talk about nutrition as a family affair, not singling out your child. Singling out your child or teen and may leave them feeling bad about themselves, yet not have the words to express it. Also, make sure not to over talk nutrition. Say it once or twice, then follow the next steps. Keep your energy light and positive, so it doesn’t feel like a punishment. If you make it a problem, then it becomes a problem, rather than a positive change for the whole family.
#2 Quietly make changes in the balance of meals and snacks. In other words, don’t over talk it, just do it. Don’t over explain it. Like the Nike commercial…Just Do It.
It’s easy to provide quick meals that may not be balanced, They may also be more processed than ideal. Look, I get it. Time is short and you know your child will eat it, but you also know more of a balanced meal would be ideal. Here’s an example, instead of giving a bowl of pasta as the whole meal, how about giving 1/4 plate pasta, 1/4 plate protein and 1/2 the plate fruits and vegetables. This is the same for snacks. Rather than giving 2 carbohydrates such as fruit and crackers, how about serving a protein or fat along with a carbohydrate, such as an apple with cheese. The balance will be more sustaining and satisfying in the long run. But the key is to make the change quietly and without a lot of talk. Do it with foods they enjoy, just in a balanced way.
#3 Provide set meal and snack times. Set meal and snack times midway between meals limits grazing and can decrease cravings, allow our child to feel more satisfied and help overcome your concern about your child’s health. Rather than grazing during snack time, serve snacks at your table. Include 2 foods, such as a fat or protein with a carbohydrate. Allow for autonomy by offering a couple of options such as “would you like apples with peanut butter or cheese and crackers?” Consider a snack to be little meal, not just treats, although treats can be part of a balanced snack.
#4 Have family dinners, even if you start 2 times a week. Family dinners give an opportunity to serve healthier foods as a balanced plate. Split the plate into 3 sections: protein, vegetables / fruits and starch / grains. If you want to introduce a new food, also serve foods that you know your child will enjoy, this way the change is not so overwhelming.
#5 Lead by example. You are their role model. Your child takes in everything you do, so allow your child to see you enjoy healthy food choices.
If you need more support to help your child or teen lose weight in a family focused, mindful and achievable way, I offer a free discovery call for families who are ready for great transformation. Click the link https://www.balancemyplate.com/contact to schedule a call.