12 answers

I Need to Help My Four Year Old Lose Weight.

Has anyone done this before? I don't know where to start.

What can I do next?

More Answers

at 4, a child doesn't need to LOSE weight. they really just need to not gain any MORE weight while starting a healthy lifestyle. they will continue to grow UP and lose their percentage of fat and build up muscle. he might lose some weight in the process, but the focus should not be on that, but on eating healthy and exercising and making good decisions when it comes to food. there is nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but most foods should be whole grains, veges, fruit and protein. if there are only healthy foods in the house, you can let your son choose one thing he wants to eat and you KNOW it will be healthy. for lunch and dinner (unless i cook a meal) i let my daughter pick one thing she wants (cheese, crackers, banana, etc.) and then i add 2 things from 2 other food groups and she usually ends up eating all or most of it. i also make it a point to eat healthy snacks WITH her, such as apple slices with cheese or carrot sticks with ranch. i also let her "help" me make meals and she loves to try each ingredient as we add them. then when the meal is ready she can see "oh that's the broccoli i tried earlier". sometimes i also "bribe" her, like i'll give her 2 or 3 chips with half a sandwich and say she can have a few more chips if she eats her sandwich.
i would recommend talking to your pediatrician to find out how many calories your son should be eating and how much exercise he should be getting. i believe the serving size for toddlers is one tablespoon per year of age. so 4 TBSP for a 4 yr old
hope some of my ideas help you out

1 mom found this helpful

how tall is your son? what does his pedi say...that would be the first person you should talk to about conserns

1 mom found this helpful

Encourage a healthier lifestyle for him and your family. if the whole family is getting healthier it will be easier for him. calories are what makes you fat...cut calories, provide healther snacks, and what sugar and carbs....carbs eventually turn to sugar and what is not used, turns to fat. 66lbs isn't bad for a 4 y/o. it could also be genetics...they show up in kids from way far back in the lines. its how we are made. encourage more active activities and of course more water intake. and always check w/ your pediatrician.


1 mom found this helpful

I agree that it shouldn't be about losing weight, but changing your family's eating habits. If your 4 year old has more than 4 servings of dairy a day then start with that. a serving for a child under 5 of dairy is 4oz of milk, a 4oz container of yogurt, 1/2 a cup of low fat ice cream, or 1/2 to 1 oz of cheeze depending on its moisture content. All dairy after 1 year of age should be low or no-fat unless their is a necessity for the extra fat calories (most believe in 2% milk until nearing 5 years old because the brain is developing so quickly and needs some extra fats that older children and adults don't need).

Adding whole grain breads and pastas at meals are healthier than their white compainions, and because they contain more fiber will allow you and your son to stay fuller longer knocking out some of his snacks automatically.

high fiber fruits are good snacks because of their lack of calories but their fiber content will help you stay fuller longer(things that start with p--peaches, pears, plums, pineapple --though be careful with the pineapple because it does naturally contain more sugar and acid than the others).

try starting the day with oatmeal flavored with splenda, cinnamon and raisin or apple pieces--this should help him stay fuller longer.

Start offering no more than 4oz of juice per day and requiring that other drinks be milk (up to that 4 servings of dairy limit) and water (or crystal light/sugar-free kool-aide).

You need to start small and work your way up...like...start with limiting the dairy intake if that's something he's big on--yes they need the calcium, but the amounts of protien and fat in them aren't going to be useful, plus most breads and cereals are fortified with calcium and or iron and vitamins a & d.

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1 mom found this helpful

Other than his weight, does your son have medical problems? My suggestions would be to greatly increase the amount of exercise that your son gets DAILY. Get him involved in a sport (karate would be great for metabolism) and, in addition to his team sport, help him do daily exercise at home. He should be busy and moving all day. Also, I would recommend that any and all fast foods be taken completely out of his diet and that, as a family, you exercise portion control (an apple is healthy eating and only about 100 calories, but 5 apples in a day is 500 calories!) Best of luck to you both!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi milissa,
His eating habits with balance meals must begin with u. Once a month for a week the only beverage in our home is water. Other drinks normally include power-aid, orange juice natural stuff. Karate works if u can afford it but the park is a great place to begin. I am a mother of 1 so I had to slide with him, climb with him pitch the ball and run with him. He did not realize it was exercise he just knew that he was having fun with his mom plus it will be great for u to enjoy the kid in u as well. fun fun fun. good luck

how tall is he, that also adds into things. ask his doctor what he thinks, and get him to eat apples, and fruits. drink water, and NOT juice drinks or fruipunch...WATER,WATER,WATER!! and get him to move more.

I would say first start with exercise since that would be easier to do than to change eating habits. I know one family who had a very overweight son and they got him into wrestling because they did so much running and aerobic activity. Since he's only 4, I would say take him to the park or get him one of those dance video games or a bike, something fun. Maybe even a trampoline if you can spend the money. Once you got exercise then try to start curbing the eating habits, less sugar and fastfood, more fruits, meats and healthy carbs. Good luck!

Dont cut calories small children need calories, they dont need fats and sweets, like chips and candy, and Juice( has alot of sugar). Instead offer apple wedges with a little peanut butter to dip them in, or crunchy celery and a little lite ranch. But most inprotantly get him active, outside for long walks, or bike rides, kite flying, (when there is no wind they have to RUN to keep it in the air) Swings are great excersise for kids or have him/her push you on the swings. the key is activity. Dont try to put him on a "DIET" it will only lead to eating problems later down the road. remember he needs calories to grow muscles, bones, nerve development, and even to suppport healthy brain function, hungry kids dont learn. you just need to change the calories he is eating to healthy calories. And put away the video games.
good luck
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Soccer!!! get your son on a soccer team and he will loose the excess and gain the social skills that he will need in Kindergarten. :0) My daughter has always been "big" we put her in soccer with a team and all the running and playing they really burn the cal's. You do however need to curve the sweets. mine loves and I do mean loves chocolate!! so we use it as a special treat, also she has become accustom to dessert. So I try just to give a little sweet snack before bedtime.
With kids if they are in something that is fun they do not see it as a "work" out they see it as having fun and playing that is the very best thing you can do for your child no matter how large they may be. My daughter has been 50 pounds since age 4 and still is!!! BUT now she has grown into it more. what ever you do make it fun!!! do not cut how much your child eats just what he eats. save the sweets for treats and special occations.
Hope this helps

You have received some excellent advice.
Increase fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein and exercise.
That seems to be the key with children and grown ups as well.
I wouldn't talk about losing weight or dieting with the child, or make an emphasis about not eating sweets because this could cause the child to have self image issues as well as food obsessions also. If you alter your routine with cooking and exercise without making a big deal, the child will just fall in line. Of course, if the child is asking for sweets or snacks, let him make a choice between two things you offer. This helps him feel in control of something. I offer my child cherrios and a banana or oatmeal and apple wedges for breakfast. Snacks could be celery and peanut butter, or grapes and cheese cubes.
I'm sure with a little imagination you'll get your child to make healthy choices on his own. Because you sought help, it looks like you're on the right track.
Keep it up, I'm sure it'll get easier.

change his eating habits when my nephew was younger he was getting a little heavy and instead of 3 lg meals daily we broke it down (per dr.s advice) to 6 smaller ones but nothing after say 7 or nothing 2 hrs before bed time. And get him up and moving there are lots of fun things to get him involved in like kid videos that are like kid workout videos and maybe if you can inroll him in gynastics, tumbling, swimming, go for evening strolls around the block special time for mom and him.Get everyone in on it, big brothers can take him for bike rides and walks too. Make sure he drinks plenty of water and never ever let him think he is too "fat". Keep a journal of what he is eating and when and you don't have to weigh him if he is losing, his clothes will tell you.

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