(HealthDayNews) -- In the past 20 years, obesity among 6- to 11-year-old children has risen 54 percent, according to John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Fat kids often suffer socially and have a greater risk of developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
You can help your children avoid weight problems by following these guidelines:
- Never put your children on low-calorie deprivation diets. By restricting calories, you can stunt their growth. Rather, lower your child's fat intake, but maintain calories by increasing carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, cereals, breads, and pasta.
- Remove temptations that may lie around the house. Don't leave candy dishes or cookie jars on coffee tables or kitchen counters.
- Don't use desserts and candies as rewards.
- Have family meals. Set a good example by eating a wide variety of foods. Teach your child to eat slowly.
- Make mealtime pleasant. Don't use this time for criticizing or scolding your child.
- Build your child's self-esteem: listen to her and show her that you love and accept her -- regardless of her weight.