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Seven Ways to Prevent Childhood Obesity
family eating healthy together

Seven Ways to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Monday, November 7, 2022


The U.S. childhood obesity rates have more than doubled during the past three decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The advantage of confronting obesity at an early age is that it’s still possible for your child to get things under control.  

Here are 7 tips for helping your kids maintain a healthy weight throughout their childhood. 

children enjoying apples at a picnic table

1. Empower your kids. Teach them about healthy food choices but emphasize the choice aspect of the process. Encourage them to pick out their own snacks, learn to change their behavior and make smart decisions.

2. Consider breastfeeding. Babies who are breast fed are less likely to be obese because they learn to stop eating when they’re full, rather than being guided by the number of ounces left in a bottle. Talk to your doctor about whether that’s an option for your infant.

Baby being held by mother

Kid eating from a plate

3. Give up on the clean plate. For many kids, the issue isn’t just what they eat but the amount. Encourage good portion control behavior by allowing kids to stop eating when they are full, rather than making them eat everything on the plate.

4. Model good behavior. Kids will want to eat junk if they see Mom and Dad eat junk. Kids will want to eat healthier if they see Mom and Dad eat healthier. 

family eating healthy together

kids playing on playground

5. Rethink rewards. Instead of praise with candy or treats offer a trip to the playground, swimming pool or an active outing as a reward. Not only does it curb the sweets, but it gets everyone doing something together.

6. Reduce screen time. The average U.S. child is in front of some type of screen as much as seven hours a day.

brothers watching tv together

girl drinking water bottle

7. Make small changes. Choose whole-wheat crust instead of white crust on your family’s pizza. Those kinds of small changes can add up over time. Water instead of juice or soda are another easy switch.


Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.