Health Watch - Parental Guidance: Fighting Obesity

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how important it is for parents to provide guidance to children. In the fight against childhood obesity, parents play an important role.

The first step toward avoiding childhood obesity comes during infancy. Cindy Cunningham, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says breastfeeding and introducing solid food only when the baby is developmentally ready can help. Learn to recognize the child’s signs of hunger and don’t use food as a pacifier. Keep healthy food options on hand for snacks and meals. It can sometimes be challenging to get kids to try healthy foods. Just keep offering them so children get used to them. Keep portions small and allow children to have second helpings if they’re still hungry, but don’t force them to eat more if they aren’t hungry. Encourage children to exercise and be active. Meanwhile, parents need to set a good example by eating well and exercising.


April 2010

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