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

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
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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.

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Children ad Weight Loss October 18, 2007

Posted by 4fitkids in Uncategorized.
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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
    healthier.
  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

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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

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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

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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

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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! 

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

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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

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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!