Help & Hope for Kids with Digestive Disorders

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Our Partners

  • NASPGHAN North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • NASPGHAN Foundation North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
  • APGNN The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
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Treatment & Management of Childhood Obesity and Nutrition Issues

There is no magic diet plan for overweight children – the only way to safely lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in – either by reducing what you eat, increasing your activity or a combination of the two. Here are some tips to help you get started in helping your child establish healthy eating and exercise habits.

Healthy Eating Tips

  • Feed your child lean meats such as chicken, turkey or fish.
  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Encourage your child to “eat a rainbow.” Colorful foods often have important antioxidants.
  • Limit snacks
  • Drink 6 - 8 cups of water each day. Avoid soft drink and limit drinks such as fruit and energy drinks.
  • Try to avoid processed food.
  • Do not use food as a reward.
  • Decrease the amount of fast food that your child and the family eat.

Exercise and Activity Tips

  • Put exercise into your child’s schedule
  • Set exercise goals; aim for 90 minutes of vigorous activity every day
  • Make exercise fun for your child.
  • Reward your child for exercising, but do not use food as a reward

Set an Example

Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your child is to set a good example with your own eating and exercise habits. Kids do what they see – if they see you choosing a healthy diet, eating lots of vegetable and exercising regularly, then they are more likely to as well. Encourage your child by involving the whole family in healthy habits.

For more guidelines on choosing a healthy diet, see Choose My Plate. And if you are following a gluten-free diet, be sure to choose lots of fruits and vegetables and see our Gluten Free Diet Guide.