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What are some healthy eating habits for an overweight child?

Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics
If your child is overweight, take action.
  • Be a role model. Eat healthy foods and serve them to your child. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, and fat-free or 1% sources of calcium. Avoid fried foods and limit snacks without nutrients.
  • It would be better to avoid eating away from home as much as possible. For smaller portions, share meals with your child. Don't choose French fries or regular soda. Choose baked or broiled foods. Hold the mayo and cheese on burgers. Use sauces, gravy, butter, or sour cream sparingly. These suggestions will save a lot of calories.
Bethany Thayer
Nutrition & Dietetics
An overweight child should never feel as if they are being punished for being overweight. Look for ways to incorporate healthy habits into the families activities. Keep eating to defined times and places. If breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are always around the same time your child doesn't need to worry about going hungry. Avoid snacking in front of the computer or TV. Make fruits and vegetables visible -- a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter and a veggie tray in the refrigerator at eye-level. Stock your kitchen with other healthy items such as whole-grain breads and cereals, low-fat milk and yogurt, beans and other wholesome foods. Work with your child to find healthy snacks and meals that are tasty. Let them incorporate their own creativity. And help them find ways to stay active inbetween meals and snacks. Looking for a registered dietitian that can customize a plan for you? Visit www.eatright.org.
Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics
First of all, children should not be on a restrictive diet since they are growing and need a variety of nutrients. I always recommend to limit TV or computer use to 2 hours maximun since they only promote inactivity. Make sure to include low fat dairy products, lean meats, lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains in his/her diet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.