- Introduce good eating habits early in your children’s life.
- Pay attention to your children’s weight as he or she grows. Be sure to discuss your children’s situation with your pediatrician or other healthcare provider.
- Let your children learn to respond to internal hunger cues rather than learned social ones. Don’t worry if your kids don’t eat as much as you think they should.
- Encourage your children to be physically active. Remember that not all physical activity is competitive. Kids who choose not to participate in organized or team sports still can enjoy being active, and the benefits are the same.
- Eat meals at home together. The time you spend at the table is a great way to help your children develop good eating habits and give them an opportunity to talk about the things that may trigger overeating.
- Keep bikes, basketball hoops, and other outdoor play equipment available for your children to use and in good working order.
- Teach your children to reach for water first to quench thirst. Fruit juices, such as orange and apple, are a source of calories that add up quickly.
- Encourage your children to find activities that develop their own unique strengths. More time spent on hobbies and new interests means less time spent on passive entertainment such as television and video games.
- Be a kid again and take time to play with your children—play catch, build a snowman, take a nature walk, go for a bike ride, or dance to your favorite music.
- Get your children involved in making healthful eating choices. Letting them select recipes, shop for ingredients, and prepare food are a few ways.