Guest Post: 5 Ways You’re Making Your Kid Unhealthy

19222591068_d80bd0dbaf_oAs health coaches, we see families engaging in a range of behaviors that tend to be automatic, and therefore hidden, but still undermine a child’s commitment to a healthier life. Simply having awareness around the 5 hidden behaviors that undermine your child’s health can boost the success for everyone’s health goals. So, here are the 5 ways that you’re making your kid unhealthy.

Following diet trends like, Juicing, Paleo, Low Carb, etc.

It doesn’t matter what health trend you are referring to, the bottom line is that if it’s focused on one food, or eliminates certain foods, IT IS A DIET! Diets may get quick results for some people but they do not teach kids about healthy behaviors that can sustain long term weight loss and wellness.

Commenting on their food choices

We know how difficult it is to hold your tongue when your child is making a food choice that you don’t agree with, but making comments promotes feelings of judgment and resentment. You also run the risk of hurting your relationship with your child. The best thing you can do when you see your child making an unhealthy choice is ask them to track that food so they create their own awareness.

Keeping red lights in the house

Don’t want your kids to make unhealthy choices? Don’t keep tempting foods in the house! Testing willpower is not an effective method of creating sustainable health the way that creating a healthy environment is. Get rid of the red lights and replace them with green and yellow lights and watch your child’s health habits transform.

Commenting on their appearance

To support your child’s new healthy lifestyle it is crucial to focus on the healthy behaviors and not on the number on the scale or how they look. Commenting on looks encourages your child to focus on the external which can lead to neurotic behavior, rather than on how they feel. When kids are paying attention to how they feel, they are likely to make the healthy choice so that they feel good.

Not being a good role model

You can’t expect a kid to make changes if you aren’t making changes yourself. Kids and teens look up to you for everything, especially when it comes to eating and exercise habits. When kids see you prioritizing exercise and eating green and a yellow lights, they are likely to adopt the same priorities over time.

About the Author:

Thea Runyan, childhood obesity expert and co-founder of children’s weight management/activity app Kurbo, says parents often make five common mistakes when it comes to their children’s health and food choices. Runyan spent 12 years as the lead behavior coach for the Pediatric Weight Control Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, where her expertise in this field has helped hundreds of kids, teens, and families manage weight and lead healthier lifestyles. Kurbo provides the first mobile-based health coaching and weight management program for kids, teens, and their families. See whether Kurbo is right for your child, try a Kurbo coaching plan for free today!

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