Encourage kids to participate in physical activities that they enjoy. Plan activities for the whole family.
Avoid severe food restriction in an effort to manage your child's intake. An overly restricted diet may keep children from getting nutrients they need and may lead to sneaking food.
Offer kids a variety of foods from the five food groups of the Food Guide Pyramid: especially lower-fat, lower-calorie foodsgrains, vegetables, and fruits, as well as low-fat dairy foods and lean meats, poultry and fish.
Tailor portion sizes for the child's, not adult's, needs. Use smaller plates so their portions don't appear to be skimpy. If they're still hungry, they can ask for more.
Make meals and snacks enjoyable. Avoid rewarding or punishing a child with food. Encourage children to follow their own internal cues to eating.
Since snacking goes along with childhood, stock your kitchen with lower-calorie choices. For example, raw vegetables, fruit, juice, milk and vanilla wafers.
Set time limits on watching television and playing video games. Inactivity often leads to weight problems. Children who watch four or more hours of TV a day are twice as likely to be overweight as kids who don't.
Make a house rule: Eat only in the kitchen or dining room. High calorie snacks that may go along with TV watching can add to any problem.
Be a role model for your childdemonstrate healthy eating habits and regular physical activity.
Seek professional advice. A registered dietitian or your doctor can offer support on an approach that's right for the needs of your child.