Preventing Childhood Obesity
Helping Your Child Eat Healthy for Life

Many parents worry about their children eating too much or too little and with the increase in childhood obesity and children getting enough fruits and vegetables, how can parents help their children eat right without making mealtime a battleground?

Children naturally know how much they need to eat—knowing when they’re hungry and how much to eat is the child’s job.  Serving the right food to help a child grow and be healthy is the parents’ job. 

  • Your child will eat more on some days than on others.
  • Children’s servings are small—about 1 tablespoon of each food served for each year of age. A two year old would need 2 tablespoons of vegetables, 2 tablespoons of rice, and 2 tablespoons of beans. give this amount first, and more only if your child asks for it.
  • Have water available for your child to drink between meals instead of milk, juice, or sweet drinks, which may make your child feel full and not want to eat.
  • Have snacks available that will keep your child healthy and growing well: bite-size pieces of apple or orange, carrot or jicama sticks, a small handful of nuts, seeds, and raisins.
  • Make sweets, chips, soda, and candy “sometimes foods,” that your family eats only occasionally.
  • Children learn by example so try to eat the same healthy foods that you want your child to eat.

Important links to more information on child obesity prevention and nutrion.