If your child needs to lose weight, experts recommend taking a family approach. This means encouraging everyone — not just the overweight child — to make better food choices and become more physically active. Fad diets are not appropriate for children or adults. Successful weight loss comes from developing healthful eating and exercise habits that last a lifetime.
One of the easiest ways to help your child lose weight is to rethink his drink. Beverages such as soft drinks, sports beverages and even 100 percent fruit juice contain more than 100 unnecessary calories per serving. Encourage your child to drink water or low-fat milk instead. Offer fresh fruits or vegetables with each meal and snack before providing higher-calorie choices. Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and high in fiber, which will help him feel fuller for longer. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast, because this often results in overeating later in the day. Watch less TV and be more physically active by aiming for 60 minutes of exercise a day. Focus on the health benefits he gains from eating better and being more active, rather than on actual weight loss.