Prevent Childhood Obesity

Medically Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on August 30, 2020

There are many things that a parent can do to prevent obesity in their child, including:

  • Respect your child's appetite; children do not have to finish everything on their plate, or finish the entire bottle.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes before offering a second serving.
  • Avoid buying snacks with lots of sodium and foods and drinks with extra sugar.
  • Provide your child with a healthy diet, 30% or fewer calories from fat.
  • Provide enough fiber.
  • Limit the amount of high-calorie foods kept in the home.
  • Make fresh fruits and vegetables available.
  • Enjoy physical activities as a family (walking, playing outdoor games, etc.).
  • Limit TV and non-school-related media viewing. Do not watch TV during meals or snacks.
  • Do not reward completion of meals with sweet desserts.
  • Replace whole milk with skim milk at about 2 years of age, or at 1 year of age if you are concerned about obesity.
  • Encourage your child to participate in active play.