5 tips to help kids maintain a healthy weight

Lifestyle and diet are linked to childhood obesity.

Leading a healthy lifestyle — and leading by example — may help kids maintain a healthy weight. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and with over 14 million children and adolescents affected by obesity, it’s more important than ever to support them. Research suggests helping kids stay healthy can start with their parents and caregivers.

These five tips can help kids maintain a healthy weight, and they’re good for adults, too.


Skip fast food and processed foods.

Fast food has more calories, sugar and salt, which can affect kids’ and adults’ weight and health.


Try to eat five servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day.

Fruits and veggies have the nutrients that a child’s body needs to grow.


Visit myplate.gov.

Learn about the five food groups with your child, get them involved during mealtimes and play fun food games.


Aim for at least 60 minutes of activity.

Encourage your child to join activities that increase their heart rate and build bone strength, such as running, climbing and jumping, for at least an hour per day.


Help your child get plenty of rest.

Research shows that too little sleep may increase obesity risk and disrupt hormones, leading to an increased appetite.

Improving nutrition for kids

Fewer than 1 in 10 children and adults eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables, and only 4 in 10 children eat enough fruit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. A healthy eating plan may help to manage weight and should include:

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products.
  • Proteins, such as beans, eggs, lean meats, peas and seeds.
  • Lower amounts of added sugars, sodium, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol.

For more resources to support your child’s health, check out our free wellness webinars and helpful preventive care checklist for children.

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