jump to navigation

20 tips for Parents to help kids lose weight October 18, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Here are 20 tips for parents concerned about children’s obesity.

  1. Start teaching them about healthy lifestyles at a very young age. Once there age reaches double digits, habits are already formed.
  2. If you are a parent that works late and cannot supervise your child, make sure you leave healthy snacks around the house so they avoid the junk food.
  3. Try to limit the amount of time your child spends on using technology. Television, computers, cell phones, video games, and DVD’s all teach them to lead sedentary lifestyles.
  4. If you get home late from work, try to arrange for your child to get involved in recreation or school enrichment programs.
  5. Lead by example. If you eat healthy and exercise, most likely they will.
  6. Talk to your school nurse / guidance counselor about any concerns you have with your child.
  7. Support your schools physical education program.
  8. Limit the amount of times your child depends on the fast food restaurants.
  9. Make eating nutritious foods and exercise part of your daily routine.
  10. Make sure your child gets plenty of water each day.
  11. Teach your children about getting to bed on time each day.
  12. Make sure meals are properly portioned.
  13. Teach your children safe and fun exercises they can do in the home. (Commercial-CIZE)
  14. Always start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  15. Let children sometimes plan their meals.
  16. Never reward your children with food. Instead, complement them on doing something well.
  17. Cook the foods healthier. Bake or boil the food, instead of using the frying pan with a lot of fatty oil. If you do fry, use olive or sunflower oils which are lower in fat.
  18. Try to read all food labels to make sure they are not full of unhealthy substances.
  19. Limit soft drinks. One in five calories for children come from liquid intake.
  20. Plan family exercise time. (PACES Day)

Thanks to Len Saunders- I copies this from his site, Len Saunders.


Children ad Weight Loss October 18, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Len Saunders at Children’s Health & Fitness wrote this response to a letter:

This message is to answer Sam’s question…..

“Len, my daughter is overweight.  She does not want to be, but every time she tries to watch her eating habits, she does not lose the weight, and give up after a week.  She is 15 years old, and I worry about her socially.  What can I do?”

It is always tough for any child (or adult) to deal with weight issues.  Children’s weight loss is always about self-esteem.  Self-esteem can be low due to being overweight, but self-esteem can be what saves your child.  More about that later.

First, it is always important to go to your daughter’s pediatrician.  This way, they can evaluate the child and make sure the weight gain is purely from over-eating or lack of activity.  The doctor would be able to tell you if there was other problems causing the weight issues.  Next, it may be important to go to a nutritionist.  This way, your child will be eating the correct foods.  Lastly, talk to your child’s physical education teacher to get some input on a safe exercise routine for your child.  Once you get the green light from all three of these professionals, the parent must work with the child on the weight loss program.

In many cases, a child will expect the weight loss to occur very quickly.  They need to understand it will take a substantial period of time to lose weight.  Many children get frustrated and quit after a week because they are not seeing the results they would like to see.  Talk with the pediatrician to find out healthy weight loss goals per week, and set your standards from there.  A good combination of healthy diet and exercise will do the trick for most children.  Add in to this equation proper sleep habits, and drinking an adequate amount of water each day.

Now, this is where the self-esteem issue mentioned earlier fits it.  As written, most children get frustrated when they do not see results right away.  They are children, this is the only way they know how to measure success.  When they start to get frustrated, talk to them about self-esteem.  Ask them how they feel on their weight loss program. When they become negative about it due to lack of success, explain to them how they should actually feel proud of what they have accomplished in such a short period of time.  Tell them how they feel healthier since they started to diet and exercise program.  Increase and build their self-esteem through that notion. BUILD on the positive, and set realistic goals with your child.  The longer the child stays on the program, the more positive results will occur.  It is not going to happen overnight.  Use self-esteem as a tool to motivate.  Even after one week with no results, make the child feel proud about ‘feeling’ healthier, and how they showed strong will power.  There has to be a starting point somewhere, and every child’s starting point will be different.

Key points:

  1. Always get approval from your pediatrician to start any child on a diet
    and exercise program.
  2. Monitor what your child eats.
  3. Monitor your child’s activity level.
  4. Let them know they are doing well because they are starting to feel
  5. Results will not happen overnight.
  6. Children’s weight loss be not occur right away.  Sometimes, building
    muscle mass and drinking more water may give the illusion of no weight loss.  One goal of an exercise program is to build lean body mass while reducing fat mass.  Lean body mass weights more.
  7. Use self-esteem in your favor, not against you.

Pole Dancing Fitness for kids?? October 18, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Yikes!  I read this article by Mike Howard  at Diet Blog:

Pole dancing fitness has carved out a niche for itself in the past few years – becoming one of the hottest fitness trends. Recently, instructors have been offering classes to children as young as 11. To be fair, those offering classes vehemently maintain that there are no “adult moves” taught, and that there is no actual “pole dancing” involved. Still, many are outraged by the concept.

Here are some points to ponder;

  1. Pole “work” is inextricably linked to exotic dancing. It would be difficult to break this stigma.
  2. With young girls already being perpetually fed messages about “being” and “acting” sexually, would these types of classes perpetuate that message?
  3. If the class were called “fitness with a vertical bar” would people still be outraged?
  4. Is pole fitness a unique way for children to bolster their strength, flexibility and coordination, or is it simply an industry trying to broaden their marked by capitalizing on a hot concept?

Having never seen or participated in a class (Do you think I’d admit it if I had?) I can’t comment on its level of age-appropriateness. My instinct is that these classes would offer absolutely no benefit that other more conventional activities and sports would not.

My opinion: Put your children into sports or activities like rock climbing or gymnastics. Take them to the park and climb the monkey bars with them.

PAC- 1st week October 18, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in PAC, Uncategorized.
add a comment

We wentto the PAC program for 2nd meeting.  “A”  had  done wonderfully journaling  her foods, exercise, and screen time. She wrote about her goals for the week, and if she met them (She did, most of them!)  She seemed most motivated, however, by discovering that she had lost almost 4 pounds. (In 3 weeks). I was VERY happy to hear her PAC counselor tell her that the weight loss wasn’t as important as becoming healthy, reminding her that exercising more can cause muscle growth, which weighs more than the fat lost. I told her to concentrate more on whether or not she felt better, on how her clothes fit, etc, rather than what the scale said. I also took the scale out of the bathroom so that she won’t want to check her weight often.

We did a 4 mile walk as a family on Sunday to raise money for Cropwalk with our church. I was so proud of her to walk the whole way!  Last year, she couldn’t make it halfway.  We are planning on taking long walks every Sunday as a family from now on!

This weeks PAC homework is the food pyramid. We have a chart to fill out on what we eat each day. She seems to be motivated by the whole program.  I’ll scan in a chart later, so you can see what it is like, but it forces us to be sure we get the right foods, and it also emphasises portion size.  A great lesson to learn.

Fitness and your 6-12 Year Old October 10, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
add a comment

From Kidshealth.org 

Kids who are 6 to 12 years old need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence, and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle down the road. It’s also a time when kids gain more control over how active they are.

So it’s important to give your school-age child as many opportunities as possible to be active, and to make sure your child is involved in a variety of activities, sports, and games that are a good fit for his or her personality, ability, age and interests. Brainstorm together and let your child choose the activities that feels right. Typically kids won’t mind a daily dose of fitness, as long as it’s fun.

The National Association for Sports and Physical Education recommends that school age children:

  • get 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day
  • accumulate activity throughout the day which can be broken down into bouts of 15 minutes or more
  • avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more

Fitness at Home

Many parents and kids think of organized sports when they think of fitness. Though there are many advantages to signing your child up for the softball team, practice and games once or twice a week will not be enough to reach activity goals. In addition, parents can no longer rely on physical education in the schools to provide enough physical activity for children.
There are many ways you can keep your kids moving at home.

  • Incorporate physical activity into the daily routine. From household chores to an after dinner walk, keep your family active every day.
  • Allow enough time for free play. Kids can burn more calories and have more fun when left to their own devices. Playing tag, riding bikes around the neighborhood, and building snowmen are some favorite childhood pastimes.
  • Keep a variety of games and sports equipment on hand. It doesn’t have to be expensive – an assortment of balls, hula-hoops, and jump ropes can keep kids busy for hours.
  • Be active together. It’ll get you moving and kids love to play with their parents.
  • Limit time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching TV, going online, and playing video games.

When you have exhausted the possibilities at home, take advantage of local playgrounds and athletic fields. Make family fitness outings part of your regular routine. Let family members choose an activity – go hiking, ice skating, or try-out the rock-climbing gym. Anything goes, as long as everyone can participate.

Part of helping your child commit to fitness includes being a positive role model by showing your child that exercise is important by regularly exercising on yourself.

Fitness for My Child

As you’re thinking about your child’s fitness, it’s important to keep in mind your child’s age and developmental level, natural abilities, and interests. Through physical activities, kids can learn about setting goals, meeting challenges, sportsmanship, teamwork, and the value of practice.

Between the ages of 6 and 8, kids are sharpening their basic physical skills like jumping, throwing, kicking, and catching. Some kids enjoy doing this in organized sports teams, but non-competitive leagues are the best choice for younger kids. Coaching your child’s team or cheering from the stands on game days are ways you can show your support.

Kids who are 9 to 12 years old are refining, improving, and coordinating their skills. It’s a time when a child’s commitment to a sport may be reaffirmed, while other kids may drop out as competition heats up and level of play improves. It’s okay if your child is not interested in traditional sports, but it’s important to find alternative ways to be active.

If your child doesn’t like soccer, basketball, or other team sports, explore other options and encourage your child to be creative. There are plenty of fun and challenging activities that your child might like more: karate, fencing, golf, bicycling, skateboarding, and tennis to name just a few.

I’m Concerned About My Child’s Fitness

If your child refuses to play or interact with peers, or complains of pain during activity, it’s a good idea to talk with your child’s doctor. Kids who participate in sports are at risk for injuries, so be sure your child wears the appropriate protective equipment, such as a helmet and protective pads when roller-blading. Kids who specialize in one sport are also at risk of overuse injuries, including stress fractures and joint injuries.

A child with a chronic health condition or disability should not be excluded from fitness activities. Some activities may need to be modified or adapted, and some may be too risky depending on your child’s condition. Consult your child’s doctor about which activities are safe for your child.

Kids who enjoy sports and exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. And staying fit can help improve self-esteem, help maintain a healthy weight, and decrease the risk of serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

45 Pounds October 7, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

We tried, we really did.  We tried the kids diet plan, 45 Pounds.  It wasn’t the plan for us.

It is very restrictive. You had to follow it so closely it,  left no room for an occasional treat, or even a unintentional slip up. It seems to me that a weight loss plan for kids has to have a  built in a little wiggle room.

I want my daughter to learn about a healthy lifestyle, including a life of healthy snacking, than be so restrictive that an occasional cookie or ice cream would completely screw up her diet.  I’m glad it worked for the writers daughter, but its not the plan for us.

On a funnier note: we went on a 45 minute bike ride yesterday. I haven’t ridden a bike in 20 years.  My butt is SORE.  “nuff said.

Tomorrow we meet Ally’s PAC coach for the first time with her. She is so excited!  Then, we are going apple picking. It looks like a fun day! 

Help kids lose weight, not self esteem October 5, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in PAC.
1 comment so far

Help kids lose weight, not self esteem

It’s bad enough when school bullies tease overweight kids.


Now, newspapers and television are jumping on the name-calling bandwagon. You are fat, the reports say. And your kids are too.

We know, we know. Our kids are not just “big-boned,” they are overweight, and at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma and social discrimination that can lead to poor self-esteem and depression.

How can we help our kids lose pounds and inches without giving them a complex at the same time?

Get the whole family involved, say experts at Baylor College of Medicine studying obesity and children.

“In order to prevent obesity, we also have to deal with family behavior,” said Craig Johnston, PhD, a pediatric psychology fellow at BCM. “Rather than saying ‘you have a problem and you need to do something about it,’ the focus should be that ‘we have a problem and the whole family should do something about it.'”

Feed self esteem
An increasing number of American children are struggling with their weight. Experts estimate that more than 15 percent of children and adolescents fall into the obesity category. Yet at the same time, the pressure to be thin remains high. Images of skinny pop stars and teen idols pervade movies, television and magazines. While it is tempting to blame the media for saddling children with unrealistic images of proper weight, parents have more influence on their children than they think.

“A family helps mold a child’s self esteem from birth and therefore his or her body image,” says Carolyn Cochrane, PhD, director of eating disorders programs at The Menninger Clinic and assistant professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at BCM. “It is not an accident that if you try to improve self-esteem, body image will improve and vice-versa.”

Being a healthy role model to your children is a good way to start, Cochrane says. Often, the parent of an overweight child is also overweight. When the whole family works toward living healthier, the overweight child is not singled out. The family becomes healthier in many ways, not just weight.

If you come from a family that has a history of obesity, teach your children early that they may be more likely to gain weight more easily. Teasing your children about their weight, even good naturedly, is a “huge no-no,” Cochrane says.

“Remember, kids pick up the negative connotation that most of society has about weight.”

Children who have positive body images are less at risk for developing eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating disorder.

FLOW prevention study

For more information on the FLOW prevention study, call 713-798-5769.

Families in the participation arm of the study will receive a free YMCA membership for the duration of the trial.

Work together
Family participation is a key ingredient in a new clinical trial at BCM, called the Family Lifestyle Overweight Prevention Program or FLOW, researching the best methods to prevent obesity in kids aged 10 to 15. One third of the 100 children in the trial will receive information about nutrition and exercise, and a week-by-week obesity prevention plan for 12 weeks. The rest will attend sessions that include nutrition education, and exercise weekly for 12 weeks at a participating YMCA. Parents in the second group must participate in the sessions and exercise. The study will follow participants for a year.

“We are asking for quite a commitment from parents and some significant lifestyle changes on their part,” Johnston says. “We tell them, ‘It is not fair to eat McDonalds while saying your child can’t. It is not fair to say your child needs to be physically active, while you aren’t.'”

Making small, continuous changes over time will help make the transition to a healthier, more active lifestyle less painful. Rather than suddenly declaring the kitchen off-limits, ease your family into a healthier lifestyle. Start stocking your refrigerator with healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables. Do not keep sweets and chips in the pantry while telling your children that they are not allowed to eat them.

Let your family know that you are making the change, so they won’t be shocked when they find carrot sticks in the refrigerator instead of candy bars.

“Kids are smart,” says Joan Carter, a registered dietician with the USDA’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center at BCM. “Don’t focus on the child’s weight but say something like, ‘I think we could be eating healthier.'”

Exercise plays a part
Exercising as a family should also be a prominent part of a family’s healthy living plan. Exercise burns calories, increases strength and flexibility and reduces stress. As a bonus, it makes you feel good.

You don’t have to run a marathon, or go to the gym to be physically active. A simple walk around the block, or a game of catch, will help you work up a sweat, and build stronger bonds with children.

“As a family, plan weekends around some form of physical activity as part of a routine,” Carter says. “Saturdays could always be set aside for a walk between mother and daughter, or a family hike. When you exercise as a family, you are feeding social development as well as the body.”

Don’t be a food “control freak”
You may want your child to eat her broccoli, but don’t force her, say experts. Being too controlling about the food your child eats can backfire.

“When the parent takes an authoritative style toward feeding, it becomes a control problem between the parent and the child,” Carter says. Instead of insisting on what and how much your child eats, “parents should decide what food is in the house and what is served at meals. Children should decide how much they want to eat.”

When you serve meals “family style,” your child can dish out exactly the amount of food he or she wants. If you serve their plates yourself, children are likely to eat more than satisfies their hunger because there is more on their plate.

Healthy foods like lean meats, whole grains and fruits and vegetables should be staples in your family’s diet. If you routinely eat right, however, your family can eat outside those lines on occasion.

It may be hard to cut out junk food cold turkey, so one approach is to “downsize,” your consumption, says Carter. “Buy just one case of soda, or one bag of chips, and tell your kids, ‘when it is gone it is gone. We’ll buy more next week.’ What you don’t want is to have food in the house and then to tell kids they can’t have it. It will make them crazy.”

Healthy kids, healthy future
Struggles with weight can affect a child’s self esteem for the rest of his or her life, or it may have little effect, depending on how others around them view obesity. Cochrane recalls a patient who weighed 480 pounds, until he had gastric bypass surgery and lost 150 pounds. His friends never made fun of him and supported him. Today he is managing his weight and living a healthier life.

“I’ve also seen many women, especially white women, whose childhood obesity and difficult surroundings defined their lives,” Cochrane said. “There are women who think that if they lose weight and keep it off, their lives will be perfect. These women look for happiness in all the wrong places.”

Nutrition and eating disorder experts agree that a positive, family-based approach works best to prevent excess weight gain and develop a healthy body image. Making changes to your family’s lifestyle will be hard work, but your efforts will result in a happier healthier child.

Great Article- Don’t Tease Kids About Weight October 5, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
add a comment

I found this on Babble   .

Weekly Check-Up: Don’t Tease Kids About Weight

Posted by Kelly Mills

 Here’s a disturbing finding: “In a five-year study of more than 2,500 teenagers, researchers found that 44 percent of girls and 29 percent of boys were overweight, habitual binge-eaters or had taken unhealthy measures to lose weight — such as abusing laxatives, using diet pills or vomiting.” Yikes. That is alot of teenagers doing possible longterm damage to their bodies. But before we make the lollipop-headed models in magazines carry all the blame on their frail little shoulders, what factors increased the risk of girls doing the purge or being overweight or trying the liquid-cleanse diet?

Let’s put it this way: “Better lay off the ice cream, kiddo, because you are growing a twin.” Yep, teasing by a family member raised the prevalence of going extreme with the weight loss attempts by 41 percent. And girls who reported teasing at the beginning of the study were twice as likely to be overweight five years later. And having a mother who dieted was also cited as a risk factor.

If you ever needed a reason to not tease your kid about weight, there it is. And I’ll go a step farther and say don’t let anyone–not your brother or your mom or your cousins or whoever–give your child a hard time about weight. In fact, if this goes on in your family I’d have a ready retort or game plan, because no kid deserves that kind of crap, and frankly, “It was just a joke” shouldn’t be an excuse for cruelty. And once again, the best way to help kids with a healthy body image is to lead by example.

One last finding: “Weight-related problems were less common among girls who said they frequently sat down to meals with their families, and that family meals were a positive, enjoyable experience.” And what a great opportunity to show kids that food is not the enemy

Getting Started…. October 4, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Hello! I’m Gwen, and I am starting this blog to help support my daughter, A. A. needs to lose 40 pounds. She is 9 years old. She is also feeling very alone in her quest to lose weight.  She looked to me for support, but also needs support of other elementary school aged kids as shewe try to live a more healthy lifestyle.  I looked an search, and couldn’t find a support group for her and myself (As a mother trying to help her child lose weight) so I decided to start one. This is the beginning! Welcome! 

Here is what A. had to say today for our blog:

I want to lose 40 pound by walking on a treadmill for 3 minutes and lose it like that.  But, I know that I can’t. So I want to eat healthier and exercise by swimming, walking around in the park, riding my bike and using our treadmill.  I also want my Mom to buy healthy snack for school, and after school.  This is a tip: DO NOT TAKE DIET /WEIGHT LOSS PILLS. They do not work, and they can hurt you.

Today I spoke with a trainer about our local YMCA’s PAC Program. PAC is the Physical Activity Club. a 12 week program designed to motivate children ages 9-12 to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Each child will be assigned an individual adult coach who meets with the child once a week to motivate and support him or her. 

Child is “coached to record all their physical activity . especially a pedometer measured 10,000 steps a day program.  In addition, participants will be taught nutrition and healthy eating and living guidelines.  Parents’ participation in each weekly session is highly recommended.

The mentor she is assigned seems wonderful- he and met today to talk about the program. It seems that A. is the first person to sign up for this program, and  they are as excited about it as I am. And , SHE is, too. We meet with him on Monday morning.

I also spoke with a nutricionist about guidelines as well.  She gave me lots of papers to look at, guidelines to follow, and things to do.

Most importantly, I made a healthy dinner, then we  biked and ran around the park after dinner for 30 minutes. We had fun!