The cornerstones of a weight control plan are physical activity and diet management. Old habits and attitudes—yours and your children's—need to change. The sooner a plan is put in place, the better; it is much easier to change habits in children than in adults.
Meal and snack suggestions
Most of your diet should be whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Serve a variety of green, red, yellow, brown, and orange vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole-grain bread, pasta, and rice.
Eat two or three servings of low-fat (1% milk) or nonfat dairy products every day.
A healthy diet also includes two to three servings of foods from the meat and beans group. This includes lean meat, poultry, fish, cooked dry beans, eggs, and nuts.
Limit fats to no more than 25%-30% of total calories.
Choose low-fat and tasty snack foods
Do not limit fat in children younger than two years of age.
Select snacks for young children carefully to avoid choking hazards.
Parents need to develop good habits of their own to help their children maintain a healthy weight.
American Heart Association Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Children and Families
These guidelines apply to adults and children older than two years of age.
These measures should be applied to everyone in the family, not just children who are already overweight or obese.
Parents should focus on building self-esteem and coping with emotional distress.
Some health problems are much more likely to affect obese children than non-obese children.
Obese children also are much more likely to have these and other obesity-related health problems in adulthood:
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