Below are some tips I’ve gathered from various experts and research studies regarding older kids and teens when it comes to activity, nutrition and weight. Hopefully some will help you out.
Love your child: You know that you still love your child in spite of unhealthy habits, but make sure your child knows this too – that you love her no matter what her weight or activity levels are.
Look for natural times to start the conversation: After a doctor’s checkup, you might say, “You heard the doctor say you’re gaining weight too quickly (or not getting enough exercise, or making good food choices, etc). Do you want to talk about what we can do to help?”
Talk to health care professionals and let them help you: Nearly one-third of teenage girls are overweight or obese, and many of them are likely to become obese adults. The good news is that a full coverage program can help. A Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal Pediatrics, shows that teenage girls gained less weight, improved their body image, ate less fast food and had more family meals after participating in a six-month program that involved weekly peer meetings, consultations with primary-care providers and separate meetings for parents. This is an important study because one, it shows parents don’t have to handle these issues alone and two, it shows that more tactics are better than just one. The study didn’t look at teen boys, but it makes sense that these tactics will work for them too.