10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Child’s Diet

By Joanna Dolgoff, MD, Child Obesity Specialist for The Biggest Loser Author of Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right

Posted on | By Joanna Dolgoff, MD

4. Everything in moderation.

Tell a child (or an adult) that she can't eat something and that is all she will want to eat. No food should be off limits. Banning foods leads to uncontrollable cravings. Instead, practice moderation. It is okay to eat ice cream as long as you save it for special occasions and limit it to an appropriate serving size.

5. Don't promote the “clean plate club.”

The best thing you can teach your children is to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Do not push your kids to eat more than they need, even if you think they have not eaten enough. Our understanding of a proper portion size for a child is overinflated. Push your child to eat the amount you think they need and they will eventually get used to eating that much. And then who wins?

6. Go back to nature.

Processed foods, while more convenient, tend to contain more calories than more natural foods. Whenever possible, stick to foods in their purest forms. Fruits, vegetables, meats and grains should make up the bulk of your child's diet. Save the fast foods and processed foods for occasional treats. My rule of thumb: If you can’t easily pronounce all the ingredients on the food label, skip it!

7. Plan ahead.

A small amount of forethought can lead to large amounts of calorie savings. Once a week, sit down and plan the week’s meals. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need to avoid last minute runs to the grocery store. Pre-cook as much as you can over the weekend when you are less stressed. Then, when the weeknight madness arrives, your healthy meal is already prepped!

Article written by Joanna Dolgoff, MD
Child Obesity Specialist for The Biggest LoserAuthor of Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right