Since 1996, he and his colleagues have cared for a whopping 5,000 overweight youngsters and their families.
What’s more, Dr. Ludwig – who has been featured in USA Today, appeared on a bunch of top TV and radio shows – can educate you so you empower your child to have fun losing weight, getting fit and shunning those culprit carbs.
So, here are 6 pointers excerpted and adapted – with permission, of course -- from Dr. Ludwig’s book, Ending the Food Fight.
1. Working together as a family, make a “Clean Sweep” of your home environment. First, empty your cupboards, cabinets, refrigerator, pantry and other food storage areas where you keep sugary drinks, chips, cookies, candies, ice cream, refined crackers and other “fake foods” that just don’t support your family’s health. Now, toss away all the health-defeating fake food. (Don’t worry about being wasteful – the health costs of eating those commercially processed foods are far greater than the actual purchase price.) Next, go out as a family to grab a healthy lunch or afterwards do something fun outdoors like play miniature golf, take a trip to a water park or go for a hike. Then, later in the afternoon, shop together as a family and buy delicious and nutritious foods to replace all the fake foods that you’ve tossed out.
2. Introduce your children to nutrient-rich, low-glycemic real foods. This means they’ll learn about raw and cooked vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, beans, nuts and nut butters, seeds and unprocessed whole grains, and lean proteins.
3. Start replacing refined sugary cereals and processed breads. Instead give your kids whole grains such as brown rice, millet, barley, quinoa and buckwheat, steel cut oats or stone ground breads.
4. Go for family walks. Teach your kids that walking 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace would burn over about 50,000 calories in a year or about 15 pounds of body weight. What’s so great about walking is that you can do it almost anywhere; you don’t need special training or equipment; you can take it at your own pace; it’s relaxing; and it’s free.
5. Learn “The Power of Ten.” If your children have become video-watching, confirmed couch potatoes, encourage them to get active for 10 minutes at a time. They can walk, jump rope or play outdoors in three 10-minute blocks over the course of a day or two 15-minute blocks. This is like dropping nickels and dimes into a piggy bank; no matter how you count it, you still have 30 cents.
6. Let your child participate in menu planning and food preparation. You’ll find that if your kid cooks it, he or she eats it.
Again, bear in mind that these are some of many, many proven pointers from Dr. Ludwig, one of America’s foremost children’s obesity experts. His book, Ending the Food Fight, goes into much more detail, and it even presents an easy, effective 9-week program.