Children's Medical Group
Healthy Eating Tips
In the United States, the percentage of overweight and obese children and teens is increasing at an alarming weight. Obese children and teens are at a greater risk for developing serious health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, as well as high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease in adulthood. They may also experience low self-esteem due to teasing and bullying from their peers.
As a parent, you can help your child maintain a healthy weight. Lead by example. Prepare healthy meals for the entire family. Make an effort to prepare your family’s favorite meals in a healthier way.
Your child’s diet should include fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and beans. Limit your family’s consumption of saturated fat and sugar. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water, and limit the amount of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages they consume.
Also make sure your child stays active by participating in at least one hour of physical activity each day. Make physical activity fun. Enroll your child in a sport sponsored by your community park or in individual sporting activities, such as martial arts, tennis, dance or golf.
Limit the amount of time your child spends playing video games, watching television and surfing the internet. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 2 years old not watch television at all; older children should only watch 1–2 hours each day.
Fostering good eating habits and encouraging physical activity early in your child’s life will help promote lifelong health!
Visit choosemyplate.gov/kids for more information.