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Sure… But Won’t Foster Parenting Make Me Gain Weight?

2012 February 27
by Kent


Right along with ‘eating celery burns more calories than the food has’ and Big Foot this is a complete, total myth likely started by the diet companies.

In all seriousness, it is possible to gain weight around kids as some of the food choices change and we’re tempted to frequent more fast food restaurants where we can end up finishing their fries rather than seeing them thrown out.

Here’s where, as a professional parent, you have a leg up on everyone else. You are trained to approach things more intentionally. One of the bigger problems you’ll be helping your foster child with will center around food. Whether it’s eating too little because of medication or other issues; or eating too much because they don’t believe you’re going to regularly provide meals you will need to find ways to get proper nutrition into that kid.

These problems are understandable because most, if not all, of the children that come to your home will not have experienced regular meals at regular times, let alone healthy snacks. Being on prescription drugs for ADHD presents other challenges, many of which have to do with food that you’ll want to read up on.

Regular meal times and healthy snacks will help you at the weight game too! Kids learn the most from watching you. So we’re not just talking healthy snack choices like apples and carrot sticks for them and potato chips and soda for you.

In fact, given the hyper-activity of kids in general, you are going to want to limit sugar laden caffeinated soft drinks in favor of good juices and milk. That’s going to go a lot easier if you’re not downing two liters of Coca Cola or Mountain Dew while telling them it’s not good for them.

You may also consider throwing together a big salad for yourself on those evenings when your feeding your kids chicken nuggets and Kraft macaroni and cheese; when you do take them to one of the fast food restaurants skip the fries on your order and poach a few from them, making a game out of it.

Finally, try chasing an eight year old around for a weekend and see if that doesn’t burn off some calories!

Foster parenting causes weight gain? Don’t believe everything you read.


Photo: “Bathroom Scale” by Julia Freeman-Woolpert

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