Ask Dani – How Do I Help my 10y/o Son Lose Weight?
Dani, I came upon your website after looking for quinoa recipes and I am so impressed with your easy and simple recipes. My question though is this… How can I help my 10y/o son lose weight? I know you struggled from age 12 with diets. I don’t want his self esteem affected. I need to create healthy snacks. Can I put protein powder in smoothies for kids? He’s working out with a trainer once a week and I’m having him swim a lot this summer. My struggle though is that i have a thin 12y/o who eats whatever but I have to limit the 10y/o. Please shed some insight, thanks…. Ann Marie
Hi Annie -
Thanks for writing! So glad to hear you are enjoying the recipes!
As for your son losing weight, I would definitely put the focus on feeling good and strong vs. “losing weight”. And the absolute best thing any parent can do is lead by example.
As for the protein powder, I don’t think it’s a problem. I often put a half or quarter scoop of protein powder in Katie’s smoothies – mostly to add flavor without having to add another sugar based ingredient. Real food is always optimal but a little protein powder can be a big help when it comes to balancing out a meal.
Here are few tips I would suggest:
1. Keep nutritious foods in the house and minimize junk food at home. Kids are exposed to enough crap food with friends, schools, parties, etc. Make your home a place that sets the example of healthy eating.
2. Eat delicious healthy foods yourself (if your not already doing this). Show your son that eating nutritious foods taste good and make it the norm.
3. Allow him to be part of the cooking process. Get your son in the kitchen and let him help make a great big salad or prep the veggies for a big stir fry. Give hie a chance to experiment in the kitchen and see what he likes.
4. Don’t focus on what he can’t have –> emphasize what he should have AND if and when he wants a treat don’t make him feel badly about it. Allow him to enjoy the ‘not so healthy stuff’ too. If you make it seem like a bad thing he will begin to feel guilty about eating it and then he will feel bad about himself when he wants to eat treats! We all want treats sometimes… they key is to have them, enjoythem, and then move on!
5. Do it as a family. Don’t focus on which son is thinner or heavier. Don’t focus on the weight, focus on the feeling. Embrace a healthy lifestyle as a family… play outside, move, dance indoors when it’s raining… it’s all about feeling good!! Create healthy habits together. Maybe everyone goes for a walk after dinner or you pick an activity on the weekend to do as a family. Often times losing weight is less about losing weight and more about gaining life! So get out there and live!!!
Here are a few snack ideas:
- Apple and natural peanut butter
- Baked tortilla chips with salsa and/or guacamole
- Baked whole wheat pita chips with hummus
- Smoothies – frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder and skim milk is a good one!
- Whole grain wrap with some nitrate free turkey and mustard
These are just a few ideas! Do any of you guys have any tips or ideas that could help?? If so, please share them in the comments!!