Hey kids! Let’s have fun and get healthy too! This is the attitude we need as parents and as a community to help combat obesity amongst our children.
We have addressed the causes behind childhood obesity, and we discussed the emotional component of food addiction and how important it is as adults, as parents, teachers, and everyone in your children’s life to lead by example, and to teach our children coping skills that do not involve addictive patterns.
Now let’s have some fun. How can we make our obese children into healthy children, keep our lean children from becoming obese, and have fun doing it?
Play. Let’s get out there and play with our kids. Two square, football, bike riding, swimming, tennis, racquetball, baseball, martial arts, dance and other sports are all fun ways to get your child moving. Find out where your children’s interest lie and pursue those activities. Take it one step further and join in with them.
One you will be leading by example, and two, you and your child will have fun together. Especially as a parent with weight to lose, if you find an activity you both can do, you can encourage each other and support one another.
How about in the home? What fun things can you do that will help keep you and your children in shape and still have fun? Turn on some music and dance like crazy. Get the whole family to participate. Have a dance off.
Play musical chairs. No matter how old you are, you will have a great time playing musical chairs. Plus, kids love competing with their parents.
Wii consoles and Play Station have interactive games that promote exercise, dance, sports, getting you off the couch and moving. A rainy day is no excuse for not exercising or playing.
How about other things you can do to help your child control their weight and still have fun? Cook together. Take time to create healthy recipes and cook meals together. Kids will learn how to cook healthy and pay it forward when they have children. Cooking together is a wonderful opportunity to have special conversations and not just about weight loss. If kids are having fun with you, they will be more open with you.
Don’t be afraid to loosen up and play with your children. Playing with your kids will keep you young. It sets a great example of parental participation and involvement in your children’s lives, and again they will pay it forward when they grow up and have families of their own.
Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.