Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Helping Your 'Not-Thin' Kids

What parents should (and shouldn't) do

What Parents Shouldn't Do:

  • Don't resort to "diets" -- they don't even work for adults. "Only 5%-10% of dieting adults maintain their significant weight loss over time," says obesity researcher John Foreyt, PhD, from the Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Avoid labeling the child as "too fat," says Satter. If a child is overweight, don't focus on the child, but work on moving the whole family toward a healthier lifestyle.
  • Don't comment on people's weight and/or bodies -- strangers', friends', your own, and especially your child's, urges Mickley. Stress to your children that a person's worth comes from his or her character, personality, and good works -- not appearance.
  • Don't use food as a bribe, reward, or punishment. This encourages children to think of food as something other than nourishment.
  • Don't serve large portions to the whole family. The bigger the serving, the more children and adults will tend to eat, according to a Cornell University study by researcher David Levitsky, PhD.
  • Avoid the two eating rules that make children fail. According to Satter, these are "don't eat junk food" and "don't eat so much." She points out that children tend to eat junk foods in moderation when these foods are available regularly at home; and that restricting food intake may make children preoccupied with food and prone to overeat when they get the chance.

1|2|3
Reviewed on January 20, 2006

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool