Thursday, July 07, 2011

Tips for Parents: Helping Kids Stay Active and Eat Healthy during Summer (and Fall, Winter, and Spring)

 Dena Cabrera, PsyD @ Remuda Ranch Treatment Programs

“Summer” for kids means so many different things - vacations, summer camp, swimming, free time, and best of all, no school.   In the summer, schedules change, routines are broken, and patterns are modified.  This could create an imbalance in our eating and activity level.  Also, the heat often immobilizes us, making it a bit more difficult to stay active and eat healthy.  Helping kids stay active during summer time may pose a challenge for parents.  Also, kids today face many different options for food and activity than past generations. With an abundance of inexpensive, high calorie, low nutrient-dense, tasty, unsupervised food choices coupled with entertainment much more sedentary than "play"…we end up with overweight kids. What is a parent to do?

Top 10 Tips for Parents Who Want Healthy Kids:

1.  Be a good role model. Do not follow fad diets for weight loss; eat intuitively. Choose from a variety of foods that are tasteful and satisfying. Eat when hungry; stop when not hungry any more.

2.  Promote Size Acceptance. All bodies are shaped differently; this is natural and a part of one's genetic makeup. Fostering an environment of size acceptance and diversity in shape helps to promote a child's own self acceptance and well being. Differences are welcomed, not feared.

3.  Use positive body language. Are you consistently talking about the weight you want to lose? How much better you would look if you could lose these last 10 pounds? Commenting on others' appearance and making judgments? Talking positively about one's own body will model a healthy self-concept....Read More


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