Author: Alex Monroe
If you're looking for a fun, healthy, and natural way for your child to lose some weight, a summer weight loss camp is a great choice! These camps take kids out of their "normal" surroundings and use the change in scenery to help teach healthy living styles. They serve healthy food in proper portions sizes and have a number of fun activities geared at getting even the most inactive kids active. A good camp is more of a summer camp than a weight loss camp and many kids report forgetting that they are actually there to lose weight because they find it so much fun. Of course, the weight loss is the main goal and a great benefit - but if you can have fun and lose weight, why not?
Summer camps are fun because they will provide your child with an opportunity to escape the normal life while having fun in the sun! These camps allow children to be independent while providing them with a structured environment geared towards promoting self-esteem and fun. They usually last anywhere from a few weeks to the entire summer spanning three months.
If you're about to begin researching camps for your child, there are some factors that separate the best from the rest. Here are a few factors to investigate:
Nutrition/Cooking Classes - this is almost a part of every single summer camp that exists depending on the age range. You will find that most teen camps always have a cooking class, which is great because when your teen gets home they can prepare a family meal and perhaps even teach the family a thing or two. Think about the positive reinforcement that provides from what they learned all summer!
Fun - Although the goal of a fitness camp is to lose weight, they skimp on having fun! Some camps will offer a wider array of activities than others, but all will offer numerous activities that will get children active and help in their weight loss. Look for camps that offer a few activities that kids can easily do while at home as well. As great as it may be that your child learns to rock climb and loves it, if you don't have any climbing areas or gyms near you, chances are they won't continue to do that activity when at home.
Food - Yes, all camps will feed your children! But, they'll all vary in the types of foods that they offer. Most will stick with kid favorites like pizza and chicken but will serve them in controlled portions along with fruits and vegetables. Some will also offer new foods that your kid may not have been exposed to, which is nice because it can help to expand your kid's palette with healthy foods.
Behavioral Therapy - For some kids this therapy will be an essential part of weight loss because some kids became overweight due to an event that occurred or some other thing that negatively impacted their life. Keeping a journal or diary at camp can usually point out a reason why a child might want to eat more than he or she might need to be healthy.
Caretakers - Sending your child away for months at a time can be a scary idea when you don't really know the people who will be taking care of them and ensuring their health and safety. Look at the credentials of the staff at any camp you're investigating as well as reports from ex-campers/families. All camps will have counselors that work with the kids on a daily basis as well as a director and a kitchen staff. A quality camp will also have a registered dietitian, nurse, fitness director, and family worker on their staff at all times as well. Rapid weight loss has the potential to negatively impact on child growth, so look for a camp that employs individuals with strong backgrounds and experience levels to ensure you child completes the program in the healthiest way possible.
If you have an overweight child and are at the end of the rope when it comes to trying to help them at home, a summer weight loss camp may be just the change in scenery they need to lay a foundation for change. At the very least, they'll have a great time and will learn some things that, although they might not set in initially, will benefit them throughout their life.
David Kraft writes about health and well-being for kids and teens. You can learn more about his weight loss camps at http://www.newimagecamp.com