Tips for Overweight School-aged Children

23 Sep 2018 Advice
  • Encourage increased physical activity and play time
  • Model good eating habits
  • Limit “screen time” i.e. – computer/television/video games w less than 2 hrs daily
  • Remove television and other “screens” from the child’s bedroom
  • Seek professional help for your child if his BMI-for-age is > 94th percentile
  • Include food sources of linoleic acid (Omega 6s) such as vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, whole grains; and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3s) such as flaxseed, soy, and canola oils
  • Include 2 servings of fish each week
  • Limit intake of fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages and foods, and salt
  • For children over 2 yrs, limit foods high in saturated fats (<7% total calories/day), cholesterol (<300mg/day) and trans fatty acids (<1% total calories per day)
  • Increase food sources of soluble fiber such as legumes, grains, fruits, & vegetables
  • Professionals skilled in motivational behavior interviewing is a useful tool
  • Use tools such as to help track food and make it fun
  • Limit food choices that are brought into the home
  • Enlist the child to help plan and prepare healthy meals
  • Include the child in setting health goals
  • Reward good behavior with non-food prizes
  • Acknowledge milestones achieved in weight goals

Brown JE. Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. 4th Edition. 2011. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. p. 319-323.