If you are concerned about your child’s weight it is important that you act on this as a family and don’t isolate the child or make them feel like they have a ‘problem.’ Too many times I have heard parents say “Everyone else is okay, we can’t all go without.” Banning foods is not the way to achieve weight loss for anyone but especially not children who are becoming aware of their weight being an issue and starting to define how they feel about their body. Restricting foods is the precursor to dieting and dieting is the single biggest risk factor for developing an eating disorder.
The only way to tackle this issue is as a family. The whole family need to start eating well and exercising regularly, regardless of who has a weight issue and who doesn’t- it is not enough to direct the child. The aim is to maintain weight as they grow rather than lose weight – please keep in mind it is not useful to weigh your child regularly – the better focus is fitness and eating well. Seek help from a dietitian if you are unsure of how to progress.
Lisa Renn, Accredited Practising Dietitian www.bodywarfare.com.au