Reviewed by Kathy Empen on June 09, 2012


David Ludwig, MD Director, Children's Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Children’s Hospital Boston

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Video Transcript

Narrator: How can I keep my young child at a healthy weight?

David Ludwig, MD: In early childhood the biggest mistake is not setting clear firm limits, which does not mean that we force feed kids. Children at any age have the right to decide what goes into their mouth, but if they don't like the foods being prepared, that's fine. They can go to bed hungry. Hunger is a very powerful motivator. So parents of young children should set very clear limits and model healthy behavior. Protect the home environment. Parents of older children, of adolescents, need to begin a process of pulling back into the role of being supportive, but not of food police. Letting the child increasingly gain responsibility for their actions and only in that fashion can a child develop into a responsible adult, who in turn is able to teach the next generation of children how to eat right and be active and healthy.