1. Be careful about what you focus on: The American Dietetic Association advises not to focus too much on changing a child’s body, but instead to emphasize changing their food and fitness behaviors. Make sure that exercise is always fun, not a chore. And make eating a positive experience.
2. Feeding vs. Eating: Children gain weight not only because of what they eat, but because of how they are fed. The role of the parent is to provide appropriate food, and it is the child’s responsibility alone to decide to eat as much (or as little) of that food as they feel like at the time.
3. Play with your child – encourage more physical play. DHHS recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of activity daily, including aerobic exercise (riding bikes, playing tag), muscle- and bone-strengthening exercises (jumping, racket sports, climbing and pulling).
4. Avoid cans & microwaving Plastics: They’re lined with an epoxy resin that contains BPA. Many companies are switching over to "BPA-free" cans, but they aren’t disclosing the replacement chemicals they are using. According to the canned-food industry, the most popular replacement is vinyl, another chemical that contains hormone-disrupting chemicals and is considered a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Never microwave plastic. Even "microwave-safe" containers can leach chemicals such as BPA that can interfere with a child’s hormones. Opt for stainless steel.
5. Encourage positive eating practices:
· Teach your child to cook and let him or her make healthful recipes (fruit smoothies, salads, creative veggies).
· Stick with structured mealtimes and snacks.
· Include all kinds of tasty foods for snacks (including treats) to take the negative power away from them.
· Allow your child to pack their own lunch or prepare their own breakfast (just make sure the food options that you provide are nutritious ones).
6. Be a role model – Exercise yourself. One thing you might try to be extra conscious of is to not only avoiding disparaging remarks about the child’s extra fat, but about your own, too. Research has found links between moms who diet excessively and disordered eating in their daughters.
Source: Multiple web sources such as http://healthyliving.msn.com