For Parents & Parents-To-Be

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Getting to a Healthy Weight

What are the risks if your child is overweight?

Weighing too much increases a child’s risk for health problems like

  • high blood pressure 
  • heart disease 
  • diabetes 
  • cancer 
  • sleep apnea 
  • mental health issues

What role do genetics play in your child being overweight?

Genetics is a factor but it does not account for the increased rate of overweight children in Canada. If your family’s tendency is to be overweight, you can make positive changes to help shift this tendency and influence your child’s health for a lifetime. Create a home where the healthy choice is the easier choice.

How should you talk to your child about weight?

Take the emphasis off weight. Focus on:

  • Being active
  • Choosing healthy foods
  • Feeling good about yourself

Be positive by praising efforts instead of lecturing about poor choices.
Do not judge your child. To accept your child’s weight, you may have to deal with your inner critic.

Should you put your child on a diet?

Children should not be placed on a diet. Limiting calories is risky because children are still growing and developing. To achieve a healthy weight, help your child make wise food choices and increase his/her physical activity level. The goal is to be healthy not thin.
For advice on improving your family’s eating habits, get advice from a Registered Dietitian.

What are my roles and responsibilities as a parent of an overweight child?

  • You are in charge of what, when and where your child eats and your child is in charge of how much and whether he/she eats. 
  • Plan and serve healthy meals  , snacks and drinks and provide opportunities to be active . Accept your child’s natural size and shape.
  • Be a positive role model for being physically active, eating well and feeling good about yourself. 

How can I get my child to be more active?

  • Accept your natural size and shape.
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