How Many Calories Does A 16 Year Old Boy Need Overweight Kids

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Overweight Kids

Childhood obesity is all over the news. The numbers have gone up. Is that weird?

Author: Nan Andrews Amish

Physical education is not funded in many public schools, and in many others it is ineffective. Fat is the last legal bias. Kids make fun of everyone else, and a fat kid is fair game. Heaven help the fat kid in the shorts, where the fat can hang for all to see. Bullies will aim and will not relent.

Children spend hours in front of the computer, and their neighborhood is not safe.

Here are some strategies for raising strong, healthy, mentally and emotionally stable children.

Emotionally

1. Admit that you know it hurts when kids make fun of them because of how they look. Help them build emotional intelligence by acknowledging how they feel and help them develop empathy for others who are different and who also mock them.

2. Admit that you know there are children who eat worse than them and who are not struggling with their weight. The message is that you understand that maybe it’s not fair and that healing isn’t easy, and that it’s not necessarily their fault, but they’re still responsible for doing what they can to fix it. Watching skinny me eat cookies and milk shakes and sandwiches and fries and never gain a pound is disheartening while you eat lettuce, carrots, and lean chicken or tuna.

Food and diet

3. If the child eats a lot of unhealthy food, see if you can change those habits. Junk food is anti-kid, because processed white sugar, processed white flour and food additives are DESIGNED to be addictive and DESIGNED to increase appetite. Deprivation isn’t essential, but choosing treats wisely helps. Give them messages as if their body is their temple, that they must treat it well. Offer metaphors such as putting grease in a sports car. No, they would put the best fuel they could afford in it. Bodies are like that.

4. Invite overweight children to shop with you and teach them to read labels. Let them become experts so they have the tools to choose wisely and/or splurge, but understand the meaning of splurge.

5. Encourage (as opposed to forcing or punishing) overweight children to try different foods that might help them eat less junk. For example, fresh fruit. A burrito with filling proteins like beans, as opposed to completely empty calories. Nuts as opposed to chips. Even young carrots.

Practice

6. For most overweight children, the best way to help them is to speed up their metabolism. Exercise is the best way to do this. Fit children are less bullied. Fit, strong kids are rarely bullied. Fit, confident, strong kids with exceptional physical skills are never bullied. If the child has rhythm, encourage him to dance, t’ai chi, aikido. If they have two left legs, have them try kickboxing or wrestling. If they like team stuff, football is great and there are teams available for all skills and all genders. If they are particularly “round” and have lots of soft baby fat, try swimming, they will float better than any of their skinnier friends. Weightlifting for boys can be a win.

7. Martial arts are always a win. It builds discipline, muscle, aerobic capacity and confidence. Choose according to your child’s abilities or try what their friends or geographic location have available. Children who know martial arts know how to breathe, know how to focus, have inner and outer strength. They are not mistreated.

8. Health is the best revenge. So use every opportunity to be active with your child. Walk to the video store. Walk with them and talk about what is happening at school. Turn on the music and dance. Have exercise options at home, such as jumping jacks, trampolines, swings for the younger ones, jungle gyms, etc.

Special programs

9. If your child is significantly struggling, consider summer camps designed to do all of the above with lots of other struggling kids. Not all camps are the same, so check them out. But an 8-year-old who spends 4 weeks healthy and active over the summer, loses only 10 pounds, grows 2 inches has a great way to go back to school in the fall. They are stronger, thinner, more self-confident, tanned and have met tons of new friends.

10. If your child is significantly difficult, consider working with a naturopath, homeopath or holistic nutritionist. Why holistic? Oftentimes, kids who struggle with more than a few pounds have other things going on that, if not addressed, will make this an uphill battle. They may be lacking a nutrient. Vitamin C is a common deficiency in children who crave sugar, for example, potassium is often deficient in children who like salt. Children who have taken a lot of antibiotics may not have good intestinal flora and need acidophilic, bifidus. Children who seem to eat all the time and are always hungry may have something more serious. Sugar addictions, wheat allergies, pre-diabetes or even a parasite.

11. If you have an overweight child and other children who are not in the same space, it helps to have a family meeting where the whole family decides how to help each other deal with EACH family member’s issues. Calling out a fat child’s problems is humiliating, but if a family helps one child with spelling and another with food, it all balances out and breeds family (team) spirit. If a family decides not to have Oreos in the house to help a child struggling with food, the support is strong.

Give them priority

12. Go organic. Skip the Costco and Walmart deals. Children who are overweight are sensitive to things that other children are not. Organic food will have fewer additives, fewer hormones (designed to help cattle and chickens gain weight), fewer genetically modified foods that would also be allergic, fewer chemicals to create an immune response to. Organic produce also tastes better, and it may be less difficult to get your child to nibble on melt-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes than tomatoes that taste like cardboard.

13. Develop the child’s other strengths. If they are good at spelling, encourage them to have a spelling competition. If they are musically inclined, find a place for them to sing, play. If computers or video games are their thing, help them become very good at those skills so they have confidence from these other perspectives.

14. Be sympathetic to their appearance. Appreciate that an overweight child’s plea to “fit in” or “fit in” is charged more than a more normal-looking child’s plea. Help them choose clothes that flatter and fit them well. Make sure they have clothes they can move in and are not uncomfortable. (I knew a teenage girl who hated walking until she got shorts and pants that didn’t wear out, for example. Then she walked everywhere because the pants didn’t cut a hole in her thigh!) Make sure they find clothes that are age-appropriate and have enough style not to be subjected to additional harassment because of their clothes. This will cost more than you’d like, as most larger sizes cost extra and alterations are always at the top. Also know a good place to change things, so that if you have to buy a size up to accommodate a bigger tummy, the rest of the clothes aren’t so big that there’s room for Aunt Matilda. This is where you can REALLY help your child set it up. Buying something of a better quality, a fabric that doesn’t show fat bumps, for example, or an item of clothing that is very well made and fits well, will make your child look smaller than they are. Good underwear also counts, especially for girls. Find a way to make them special, for example with accessories or shoes.

15. Back to basics, they are not alone. Let them know that they are beautiful from the inside. Appreciate all the unique and special things that they are. Send beauty messages often. Praise the best features, extra efforts, exercise and food wins. Take them to movies like Shrek, Harry Potter and others where there are heroes who are not all skinny. Show them art that depicts ancient cultures when thinness was not popular (Botticelli, Rubens, African tribes for example). Give them unconditional love and acceptance regardless of their success or failure in any of these areas.

16. Be spiritual.

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