Belly fat in children is a strong indicator of what their health will be like as adults. Many kids with belly fat grow up to have heart and cholesterol problems, and are prime candidates for heart disease and diabetes. However, this can be reversed if the child loses their belly fat and adopts a healthier, more active lifestyle. It takes a lot of discipline, but it will leave your child feeling healthier and happier and help instill better long-term lifestyle choices.
Cut down on fast foods and foods that are high in fat. These foods are not only high in fat and calories, but also high in carbohydrates, which contribute to belly fat. Cutting down and eliminating these foods will dramatically increase the chances for kids to lose belly fat.
Incorporate healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, into the diet. Keep proteins such as meats to smaller portions, filling up primarily on fresh vegetables.
Completely cut out foods that are high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, cakes, white rice, pizza, pastry, candy, soda and ice cream.
Enroll your child into sports to help increase exercise. Sports are a fun way for children to exercise without it seeming like a chore. Engage your children in more activities such as hiking, swimming and cycling, rather than letting the child spend the day at home playing video games. The more the child moves, the more calories they will burn, turning fat into muscle.
Don’t put the child on a fasting diet. This means the child will get less food, but it also means the child’s metabolism will slow down, telling the body to hold onto any fat that it gets to keep the child from starving. Instead of cutting down on foods, make sure to give the child healthier meals and smaller portions, so that they can eat four to five portioned meals a day, rather than three large meals.