Dieting for Kids

I Don’t Believe in Diets

Leah-vegNope. I don’t believe in diets for anyone, much less children.

WOW, how can I say that? I have never known a diet to work long-term. Now, they may work in the short-term. Weight is lost, but usually the weight comes back on, sooner or later. Because eating habits were not changed, just deferred. What’s worse, some diets are downright unhealthy.

It’s my firm belief that children should never diet. Calorie restriction is the most recommended method of dieting (even for children), but it only emphasizes the problem and frustrates the child. Diets for children end up highlighting the negative and seem like punishment to the child. Overweight children are not gluttonous or lazy. Many studies have shown that obese children do not eat more calories than their peers.

One out of three children are overweight or obese! So what’s up?

Leah loves to help her mom cook.

It’s not calories or even the fat, but simple carbohydrates in our diets that cause weight gain. Simple carbs, in the form of sugar and bleached grains like rice and flour, mess with insulin that regulates the fat in our cells.

If you have an obese or overweight child, then you need to change your habits. In fact, your entire family needs to change their eating habits. Don’t expect your overweight child to stop drinking sodas, stop eating chips, cookies and donuts when they’re in your home. Don’t expect your child to have self-control, when you don’t.

Yes, you need to clean out the junk from your kitchen.

There are 3,000 food additives and chemicals approved and 90 percent of the groceries available are processed. Our bodies are designed for whole foods. In order to insure healthy children, there needs to be a change first in our purchasing habits. When our kitchens are stocked with whole foods, and we no longer stop at fast food restaurants, our kids eating habits will begin to change.

Cooking with whole foods isn’t hard or time consuming; it just takes a little planning. In Baby Bites, there are oodles of tips for incorporating whole foods into your mealtime routine and easy to prepare recipes. Once there are no temptations, the transition to whole foods can begin.

Don’t Diet–Cut Out Simple Carbs

If you change two or three things, not only will your family be healthier, but over-weight  family members (including children) will lose weight without even trying!

1) Cut out sugars. A large amount of added sugars are found in processed foods. Based on U.S. food-supply statistics, added sugars have increased in the U.S. diet 28 percent since 1982. About one-third of our added sugars come from soft drinks. Next are bakery products (cakes, cookies, pies, and other pastries) accounting about 13 percent. Fruit drinks and punches also make a sizable contribution, about 10 percent of added sugars. We like to think that fruit juice is a healthy choice…eat a piece of fruit instead. Limit fruit juices. Use only one hundred percent fruit juice, then dilute it.

2) Next cut out all white flours and white rice. That’s flour and rice that has been processed or polished. Instead of white rice, cook brown. Don’t use white flour, use whole wheat. Purchase bread with only ingredients you can pronounce.

3) This is sooo obvious, that I almost didn’t mention it. (It’s really a combination of change number one and two.) Eliminate candy, chips and donuts. Keep cookies to a minimum. Make snacking healthy. Offer fruit, cheese and veggie snacks…Click Here for healthy snack ideas.

Baby Bites™ - A Guide For Parents of Picky Eaters - CoverCLICK HERE


2 thoughts on “Dieting for Kids

  1. Maggie Macaulay says:

    Thanks, Nonna Joann, for more practical and healthy suggestions. This post will be in the February 2nd issue of Parenting News You Can Use, our free weekly e-zine for parents and teachers. If your readers wish to subscribe to Parenting News, I invite them to visit Healthy eating is foundational. It influences, learning and how we feel. Thanks for promoting wholesome eating for children!

  2. Pingback: Deborah Fry » Blog Archive » Parenting News You Can Use!: February 2, 2010

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