Weight Loss Plan for Kids


With all the attention in the media focused on childhood obesity, parents, educators and government officials all are looking for solutions. Children grow at different rates and, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, children should not be put on diets without medical supervision. Growth may be stunted or other conditions arise if children don’t get the proper nutrition.


Obese children usually become obese adults with all the medical ramifications that come with the condition. High blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory and digestive diseases are common side effects of being overweight. Socially, obese children undergo peer pressure and teasing that often results in emotional difficulties as well.


A weight loss plan for children should not restrict calorie intake lower than the recommended standards. Children need calories for proper growth. Follow guidelines for calorie consumption available through sources such as the Mayo Clinic. For example, girls age nine through 13 need between 1,600 and 2,200 calories per day depending on their physical activity levels. Boys of the same age should get between 1,800 and 2,600 calories.


Consider involving the whole family in a weight loss regimen that includes family outings to exercise and eating well-balanced, nutritional meals. Look for ways to incorporate healthy snacks and meals in your everyday meal planning. Serve more fresh fruit and vegetables, eat out less often and reduce the amount of sugary drinks you bring home. Overweight children should eat a healthy breakfast consisting of whole grains, dairy and protein in order to perform better, have more energy and reduce hunger during the day, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Weight Control Information Network.


By joining children in developing better eating and exercising habits, parents also can become healthier. According to the Cleveland Clinic, parents should serve as role models for children and adopt a pattern of healthy living that shows children how enjoyable healthy living can be.


Inactivity is the harbinger of most families with overweight children. Television, computers and video games are modern sources of entertainment that take kids away from physical activities. Set time limits on those activities as part of a healthy weight loss plan.

About this Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist who’s spent more than 20 years doing in-depth research and reporting on trends in health care and fitness for newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” “Verve,” and “American City Business Journals.” In addition to sports and alternative therapies, Ray has extensive experience covering banking, commercial development and people. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.