Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Myth: It is okay to put an overweight child on a diet.

Answer: BUSTED!

If your child is overweight, the solution is not to restrict calories. Putting children on restrictive diets or forcing them into intense exercise programs can, in many cases, do more harm than good. Children are rapidly growing and developing their skeletal structure. By choosing to limit calories, some children may not develop their full bone and muscle mass. It is advisable not to put your child on a diet, especially without consulting your doctor. Educating your child to make wise food choices and to increase their physical activity level will help achieve lifelong health and fitness.

Mother preparing healthy foods with son and daughter
Involve kids in food prep & make it fun!
You can help your child to maintain a healthy weight by following these few tips:
  • Be active by playing together.
  • Make family mealtimes a special time together.
  • Save fast food for a treat.
  • Serve fruits and vegetables creatively.
  • Drink milk with meals and water with snacks.
  • Set healthy limits on screen entertainment like television and video games.
  • Get kids in the kitchen.

For more information, visit

Contributor: Damaris Karanja, MA, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Louis County, University of Missouri Extension,

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