Is Your Child Overweight?

Assess Your Child's Nutrition

Children should not diet unless they are under the care of a doctor. Rather, children should eat just as their parents should, taking in a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, unrefined whole grains, and lean protein. Sugary snacks and beverages should be limited, as should trips to the drive-through.

Important tools in helping to instill healthy eating habits for your child are to refrain from using food as a reward or bribe, avoid forcing children to eat all that is served to them, and to invite children to take an active role in selecting healthy food at the store and choosing menus for the week ahead. When children are involved in the process of becoming healthier, they will begin to adopt habits that will build the foundation for future health. Be a good example.

Get Moving

All children, regardless of weight, should be active every day. It's not necessary to sign up for a membership at the local gym. However, playing sports, walking to and from school with adult supervision, and even playing interactive video games can all help children develop an appreciation for being active.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  Limit television and computer time, and spend time outside each day with your children.

The health of our children has become a national priority. Don't let your child become a statistic. Take steps today to determine your child's health, calorie, and activity needs. If you're concerned about your child's weight, meet with your doctor. It's easy to set your child on a path to lifelong health.

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Heather Fuselier is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Well Coaches Certified Wellness Coach, and health/fitness enthusiast who writes the blog Wellness Without Pity, revealing tips and resources for tapping into your inner health nut.

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