Weight awareness issues and prevention are exceptionally important and are the first steps towards proper weight. Behavior modification is the next cornerstone of a successful weight management program. Behavior modification is paramount not only for a children and adolescents, but also adults. Nutritional health professionals are of great value in developing a customized plan for your child's needs.
Under the guidance of a health professional, and encouragement at home, a child can learn self discipline and begin to self monitor. Self discipline and self monitoring are accomplished by food and activity journals, which aide the child to become more aware of his or her eating and exercise patterns. It is these patterns, which over time, can be modified and improved upon.
Diet and activity modification includes stimulus control, or limiting the amount of fattening foods in the house, eating all meals at the dinner table and at designated times, and serving food only once before putting it away (no second helpings). Parents should not verbally encourage the child to eat, and the child should not be forced to finish the entire meal. Examples of modifying eating behavior include taking smaller bites, chewing food longer, putting the fork down between bites and leaving some food on the plate.
Activity patterns are an important target for behavior modification. The child should participate in their weekly activity goals, perhaps sign a contract to perform the activity and help determine the reward for reaching the goal.
Family television-viewing patterns should be reviewed and modified accordingly. Self esteem attitude change involves teaching the child to turn negative self esteem statements into positive ones, and helping him or her cope with the negative remarks of others. Rewards should be determined with input from the child, and they should encourage further physical activity, such as sporting equipment or a trip to the skating rink.