Healthy Weight -

Healthy Weight

Children Card 8

MN WIC Program

  1. Feeding Your One Year Old
  2. Feeding Your 1 ½-Year Old
  3. Feeding Your 2-Year Old
  4. Feeding Your 3-Year Old
  5. Feeding Your 4--Year Old
  6. Beverages
  7. How Do I Get My Child to Eat?
  8. MyPlate for Children
  9. Healthy Weight
  10. Helping Your Child Grow
  11. Get Moving - Activity for 1 to 2-Year Olds
  12. Keep Moving - Activity for 3 to 5-Year-Olds

If your child is becoming too heavy, there are some things you can do to help him make healthy choices and avoid health problems.

Children grow differently. An overweight child can slow down on weight gain and “grow into” his weight. You can help by making it easy for your child to eat healthy foods at regular meals and snacks.

As a parent, you decide what food is offered, when your child eats, and where he eats. Your child decides how much he eats, and if he chooses to eat. It is not your job to limit how much your child eats at meals and snacks. Putting your child on a diet is not safe either.

WHAT to offer:

  • Dairy: For children over 2, offer skim or 1% milk. Choose cheese and other dairy foods made from skim or low fat milk.
  • Protein: Offer lean meats. Broil, bake, boil or steam instead of frying.
  • Grains: Offer breads, cereal, pasta and rice.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Offer five servings a day.
  • Offer sweets such as candy, cakes and cookies only once in awhile.
  • Have healthy snack foods on hand like fruits, vegetables, graham crackers and low fat yogurt.
  • Don’t have lots of high calorie snacks like chips, sweets, ice cream, granola bars and pop.
  • Give your child water between meals to quench thirst. Avoid sweetened beverages like pop and Kool-Aid. Limit juice to 4 - 6 ounces a day.

WHEN your child eats:

  • Have meals and snacks at regular times each day. Plan 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day.
  • Offer child-size servings and let your child ask for seconds. Let your child decide how much he wants to eat. Trust that he will stop when he is full.

WHERE is the best place for your child to eat?

  • Have your child sit at the table and eat with the family. Mealtime is a time for family sharing.
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV. This can make children eat more than they normally do.

Being active is fun!

Play indoor and outdoor games that allow your child to move safely, such as:
• Roll a ball
• Run and walk
• Play hopscotch
• Jump rope
• Dance
• Walk the dog
• Ride a tricycle or bicycle
• Blow bubbles and chase them

Limit TV, computer and videogame time to 1 hour each day.

Give your child lots of love and affection. Help build your child’s self-esteem. Don’t nag, criticize or punish your child for being overweight.

Don’t tell your child he can’t eat certain foods. This will only make him want those foods even more.

Reward your child with a smile, hug or pat on the back rather than with food.