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September 10, 2014 • Kids Health

Help Your Child with Weight Control

Based on the current science, here are the most effective parent and home-based strategies for preventing obesity and improving weight control in youth.

  • Be a healthy role model by striving to keep your weight in a healthy range.
  • Sit down for healthy family meals as often as possible and limit dining out.
  • Limit your child’s screen time, especially TV, to two hours or less daily.
  • Ensure that your child accumulates at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.
  • Ensure that healthy food choices are readily available in your home and encourage your child to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans.
  • Ensure that your child eats breakfast daily.
  • Restrict your child’s access to and intake of sugary beverages (soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, fruit juice, etc.).
  • Limit your child’s access to and intake of energy-dense (high calorie) foods, especially between meals. Energy dense foods include traditional fast foods, junk foods, and sweets/desserts. Remember, if it is not there, it is not an option!
  • Be sure your child gets optimal sleep.
  • Allow your child to self-regulate their own food intake at meals versus pushing them to eat until the plate is empty.
  • Mothers should strive to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and thereafter as long as possible—ideally up to 12 months.


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