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Kids' Healthy Weight

Your Family Guide for Healthy Weight: Simple Tips

This resource guide was developed to help guide your family develop healthy habits by offering tips and tricks from pediatric experts. Whether you have a child that has been diagnosed as overweight or obese or you are just looking for ways to eat healthier and become more active, this guide will give you specific steps that you can take to make positive changes in your lifestyle. This Guide offers parenting tips, recipes, shopping lists, tips for reading nutrition labels, portion suggestions and much more to make your lifestyle changes successful.

Congratulations on taking your first step to improving your family’s health!

Develop Healthy Habits for Life

Just as bad habits such as playing video games for hours on end or eating in front of the a television are developed over time; it will take time to develop healthy habits. Here are some simple behaviors that your family can develop into healthy habits:

Remember to:

You will also want to make sure all of your child’s caregivers know about and agree to help reinforce your new lifestyle.  This includes the babysitter, grandparents and others.

 

Stock Up on Healthy Foods

Kids will eat what is available to them. That is why it is important to carefully select the foods that you serve for meals and have on hand for snacks. Follow these basic guidelines:

 

Make Time for Family Meals

It is important to remember that something as simple as family meals can be beneficial to your family. Here are some reasons to eat more meals at home:

 

Get Kids Involved

Letting your child prepare the meal will help develop healthy habits. Here are some tips to get your child involved:

 

Don’t Forget Breakfast

Breakfast is a very important meal. A good breakfast fuels you up and gets you ready for the day. In general, kids and teens that eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day.

 

Make Snacks Count

Snacks can play an important role in managing kids' hunger and boosting nutrition when the right options are offered at the right times. Make sure you are offering your child healthy snacks to keep them happy and healthy:

 

Eat Out Wisely

With busy lives, we tend to eat out multiple times each week. At restaurants it can be difficult to tell how food is prepared and choose healthy foods. Taking the time to think through menu choices is important when developing healthy habits. Try these tips the next time you eat out:

 

Encourage Your Child to Be Active

Children should get at least one hour of physical activity each day. Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips for raising fit kids:

Be sure to adopt a healthier lifestyle yourself.  You will be a positive role model for your family.

 

Develop Good Sleep Habits

Kids need sleep for their growing bodies. Recent studies indicate that lack of sleep may lead to children consuming more food. Sleepy children, because they are tired, are also less physically active during their waking hours. Help your child develop healthy sleep habits:

 

Beat the Bully

Children should not have to suffer with hurtful name-calling, threats, rumors, and intimidation. Work with your child to develop positive strategies to deal with a bully:

 

Have the Difficult Conversation about Weight

As a parent, there are many difficult conversations that you will have with your child. If you have talked to your doctor and it has been determined that your child is overweight, it is important not to ignore the issue.  Here are some good tips to help you start this conversation:

 

“This guide was originally developed for hard copy distribution by pediatric experts at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital & colleagues in the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association with a grant from the Ohio Department of Health.”

This children's health content is brought to you with support from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.

 

For more information:

Go to the Kids' Healthy Weight health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: Jun 21, 2013

Leona  Cuttler, MD Leona Cuttler, MD
Professor
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University