Children and Weight
Weight is one of the many personal characteristics that distinguish children from each other. Recognizing that children grow at different rates and have different body structures from their friends and family may help ease concerns parents and children have about weight.
Parents can help children learn good eating habits now by taking the following actions:
If you are concerned about your child's weight, ask your health care provider for advice. Standardized growth charts plot height and weight of boys and girls at different ages and can be used in determining a child's recommended weight range.
If it has been determined that your child is gaining too much weight, decide carefully how to handle the situation. Restricting food from your child, especially when other family members are eating, can be harmful to the child's self-esteem and can lead to overeating. The best thing to do for an overweight child is to encourage regular exercise and to help the child eat well-balanced meals and snacks. Make sure also, your child knows that you will always love and support them regardless of their body.
Adapted from Is My Child Gaining Too Much Weight, InfoSource, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and A Parent's Guide to Children's Weight, North Central Regional Extension Publication 374