Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

  This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff in collaboration with Sanford Health Systems.

When your preschooler has cute chubby little cheeks or an extra roll or two around her middle, how do you sit down and talk about healthy weight?

You don't talk about weight, say parenting and weight experts.

The Talk: Expert Advice For Every Age

WebMD Logo

Do you have kids that are different ages or one that’s being bullied at school? See how your approach might need to be different for each one.

Dos and Don'ts for Talking about Weight

Do …

  • Have age-appropriate, ongoing conversations about healthy choices
  • Tell kids that healthy foods make them stronger
  • Make exercise fun, think playtime
  • Talk to your child's pediatrician about any weight worries


Don't …

  • Talk about "weight"
  • Make foods "bad" or off-limits, but do watch portions
  • Use food for reward or comfort
  • Assume kids will outgrow "baby fat"
  • Tolerate weight-based bullying or teasing

"Talk about healthy eating and healthy habits and say things like, 'This food will make you stronger!'" says Stephanie Walsh, MD, medical director of child wellness at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "I would never bring up weight. What does that mean to someone their age?"

Like you teach young kids that brushing their teeth and taking baths are important ways to stay healthy, tell them that eating healthy foods and keeping their bodies moving are also important for their bodies. This should be the approach whether your child is overweight or not.

"It's really important to talk to kids at every age and over time about the importance of nutrition and physical activity," says Marlene Schwartz, PhD, deputy director of the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

"Parents make the mistake that if kids are really small, it doesn't matter. Like, 'Young kids are picky, and if all they eat are chicken nuggets and french fries, it's OK. They'll grow out of it.' But it's not OK."

It's not OK because when kids don't eat well or aren't active, that can lead to being overweight or obese. And overweight kids are at risk for health problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, even in childhood. Overweight and obese kids are also at risk of developing sleep apnea, asthma, and liver damage.

While scary, those medical concerns won't resonate with your kids. You have to reach them on their level. Have ongoing conversations, with even young children, about how healthy foods and moving and playing will make their bodies strong. For example, it will help them run fast and feel good. Talk to them about it whenever you have a chance -- like while shopping at the supermarket, making dinner, choosing a weekend activity, or setting up play dates.


For Kids and Parents. Kid Tested. Expert Approved.

Kids Healthy Weight & BMI Calculator

Enter your child's information:
Get Started