Pediatric Nutrition

Controlling Weight

Lifelong eating patterns are set early in life. Therefore, it is important to teach your child good healthy eating habits. Poor eating habits can lead to underweight, overweight, and/or poor nutrition. Being overweight may negatively affect the way a child—and an adult—feels about his or her appearance and his or herself. If your child uses crutches or is in a wheelchair, excessive weight will make it harder for him or her to move around. Obesity may also contribute to many problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. When you are trying to help your child control his or her weight, it is important to remember to offer a variety of foods from all of the major food groups—milk, meat, whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Your child needs food from all of these groups to provide all necessary vitamins and minerals.

Following are some ides to help control your child's weight and to establish good eating habits.

Things to Avoid

  • Using food as a reward
  • Giving food to comfort
  • Giving foods your child dislikes
  • Varying meal and snack times
  • Setting bad eating habits examples
  • Using meal times for scolding
  • Rushing through meal times
  • Using the word "diet"
  • Large portions
  • Frying foods
  • Inactivity
  • High fat foods

Things to Try

  • Praising or giving a sticker
  • Doing a special event
  • Keeping the cookie jar out of view
  • Teaching healthy food choices
  • Having pleasant conversation during mealtimes
  • Eating slowly
  • Keep eating as a separate activity (apart from watching TV, reading, etc.)
  • Have meals in the kitchen/dining room
  • Baking, broiling, or boiling foods
  • Offering fresh fruit
  • Encouraging exercise