How to Help Your Overweight Child

  • Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned). Let your child choose them at the store.

  • Skip buying soft drinks and high fat/high calorie snack foods like chips, cookies, and candy. If children do not see these foods at home, they will be less likely to ask for them and you will not have to say “no.” Choose healthy snack foods.

  • Eat breakfast every day. Skipping breakfast can leave your child hungry, tired, and looking for less healthy foods later in the day.

  • Plan healthy meals and eat together as a family. Planning the week’s meals and grocery shopping can help save you time and money. Sitting together at meal times helps children learn to enjoy a variety of foods.

  • Eat fast food less often. When you visit a fast food restaurant, take advantage of the healthful options offered.
    Here are more tips to encourage healthy eating habits:

  • Do not get discouraged if your child will not eat a new food the first time it is served. Some kids will need to have a new food served to them 10 times or more before they will eat it.

  • Try not to use food as a reward when encouraging kids to eat. Promising dessert to a child for eating vegetables, for example, sends the message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert. Kids learn to dislike foods they think are less valuable.

  • Do not try to control the amount of food your child eats. It is up to you to provide your child with healthy meals and snacks, but your child should be allowed to choose how much food he or she will eat.

Reprinted from the NIDDK’s Guide for Healthy Eating (National Institutes of Health)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *