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how to teach kids about obesity

this is a loaded question. What is the ideal mix?

Fri. Oct 19, 10:45am

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I don't think we should teach kids about weight. I think we should teach our kids how to eat healthy, stressing whole grains, vegetables, limiting junk etc... for a healthy lifestyle. Encourage our kids to be active and participate in sports or some physical activity. If they are doing both of those things you can feel confident telling them to love their body just the way it is.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 10:46 AM

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teach by example

monkey see, monkey do. cook properly for yourself, get yourself outside, get yourself into the gym, compliment yourself in their earshot and play with them.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 10:48 AM

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previous posters have hit it on their head. As far as teaching, it's always better to teach about what you should do, not what you shouldn't do. Focus on positive, active behavior as opposed to negative/passive behavior.

And I'd like to think that I'm proof that just because parents are obese, doesn't mean their chld will be. Both my parents are around the 300lb mark- they couldn't play sports with me, but they could swim with me. And I played interschool sports and ate a balanced diet just like they did. I'm not skinny, but my doc says my weight is perfectly healthy, and the boys like the curves...

Friday, October 19, 2007, 1:24 PM

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I would have to agree. The best way to get kids to eat good healthy food is to fix it. You tend to want what you are familiar with. I don't see a problem with something like birthday cake for instance but on normal days snacks ought to be fruit or popcorn or even veggies. I am with a year and a half old all the time and his favorite food is an apple. Because I like apples. I am so glad that I have changed my eating habbits before he is old enough to pick up on the negative. I wish I had wanted the good stuff when I was a kid.
As the age is appropriate I don't see any reason not to also teach them why we eat the foods we eat. Different nutrients and such.
They will learn in school I am sure what over eating does to the body.
People are so much more health conscious than when I was raised.
And as far as exercise is concerned do what you can. Lead by example. And if they don't like one type of sport keep trying. I hated sports but loved volleyball. Or going for a walk with someone you love. Make it routine and it will stay that way.
Good luck.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 3:01 PM

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This is the 10:45 poster again. I just wanted to comment to 3:01 that he/she is very right. My daughter is 2 1/2 and people comment all the time on her diet. I think it's just cause she's sees my husband and I eating this stuff but her absolute favorite food is a lettuce salad. I'm not exagerating she will get the bag of bag lettuce and beg for some, we go to Olive Garden and she eats salad after salad and hardly touches her mac and cheese. She likes her salad best with lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and a little shredded cheese no dressing. She also begs for apples, bananas, grapes, etc. I know people who say your kids don't eat veggies but my kids never even think to fight about veggies, the veggies (green beans, peas, corn, asparagus, carrots) are often their favorite part of the meal.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 3:48 PM

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Slightly relevant anecdote...think of it as "your child, 30 years later" if you let them observe or overhear your own diet struggles...

One of my best friends grew up with an overweight mother who was perpetually on Weight Watchers. He fluctuates between a healthy weight and 15 lbs above that. I hate doing anything with him that involves eating or drinking because he makes it his goal for the evening to get me to blow my diet. I think that says something about the behavior he observed growing up with an obese mother, and also about when it's "okay" to ignore the rules of smart eating. He has also learned to follow whatever the fad diet of the day is. I'm getting a little tired of his half-witted lectures on eating low-carb, as he sits there with a mouth full of pizza.

P.S. - 5 out of the 6 girlfriends of his that I've met were 20-100 lbs overweight. Not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing, just worth mentioning.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 4:43 PM

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I grew up watching my mom try every diet out there and keep losing and gaining the same 20 lbs. I am determined not to be that way when my kids are old enough to notice what their mom eats! And I agree, the best way to teach good habits is to be healthy yourself, that's why I'm trying so hard to change my eating habits while my kids are little.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 4:55 PM

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On a side note, kids who are exposed to different foods at a young age are way more likely to eat better as they grow older. My best friend grew up eating only a certain list of foods that she liked, and her parents didn't give her anything different. Now I can only invite her over for dinner if I'm making something bland and boring (from her list!)

My man and I both had parents who fed us all different things, from greek to indian to sushi and back again, and as a result we love to try new recipes and restaurants! Finding healthy food is easier because we have open minds about the options available to us.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 7:10 PM

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My daughters favorite food is broccoli! My husband and I model exercise, too, and the kids are very quick to point out if we haven't worked out f

Friday, October 19, 2007, 7:36 PM

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I agree for the most part here.My daughter is almost 8 and knows that we have changed our eating patterns,it's funny she will say "vegetables again?why do we have to have them everyday?"

I feel it is important to teach them to make healthy choices but I am also not super strict with her,after all she dosen't need to lose weight so I do let her have a snack every other day.She also loves to walk with me and it is hard to get her to stay inside most days.

Having had an eating disorder myself in high school(anarexia) and my husband also suffered from bulimia I have spoken to her about this because no one did me and although I knew it was bad I did not know the side effects and how important it is to take care of your body.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 11:54 PM

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There are ways we can try to teach and explain health and disease issues to our kids. For a while i have been sharing kids related comic books with my kids, I found them at
They are publisher of disease related comic books for kids like explaining leukemia to kids, diabetes to kids, ADHD in kids, Food Allergy in Kids and more.


Friday, April 09, 2010, 6:18 AM

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Obesity in Kids

Look guys I know its really hard to see your own kid suffering and sometime they get irritated by themselves as they don't know how to deal with it. There are many diseases which are spreading very fast in kids and young children. Parents and children are not well informed or educated about these diseases. Being a parent, we should be careful for all those causes which spread diseases in kids and children. I explored a non profitable organization that exists for kids welfare and for educating children about diseases. Their comic books are a very enjoyable way for kids to fight with disease like Breast Cancer , Swine Flu, food allergies, leukemia, overweight, diabetes, Asthma and HIV etc. I strongly recommend all parents and teacher to take their part through this organization.


Monday, May 10, 2010, 9:33 AM

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PP - you are a spammer.
Apparently the people who promote these comic books on internet forums are being compensated by this company. And who's going to spend $10 on a single comic book? If this company really wanted to help kids fight disease they wouldn't be trying to make a profit off of them.

Monday, May 10, 2010, 11:35 AM

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