Tips for families

Are you concerned about your child’s weight? What do the growth charts say? Is your child growing along a consistent percentile, even if it is high? If your child’s weight plots consistently on the growth chart and has no health concerns, there is usually no need to be concerned, even if they are heavier than other children their age.

If your child’s weight is rising faster than is typical for their age, or their BMI is rising quickly over time, this may be a sign your family should consider some healthy changes.

  • Always check with your health care provider or dietitian first to determine a safe way to make healthy changes.
  • Don't expect to make too many changes at one time – slow and steady wins the race!
  • Sit down at a table or other surface for meals and snacks. Turn off screens while eating. Eat together when possible and avoid having your child eat alone. These steps help everyone enjoy the food they are eating and connect with each other in the process.
  • Because kids still are growing, a balanced diet with a sufficient amount of calories is necessary. Each food group has a role in our health and well-being. Diets do not work in the long run.
  • Kids and teens should eat three meals each day and one to three balanced snacks between meals. Aim to offer or plan a meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours, depending on your child’s age.
  • Serve the same foods for all family members regardless of their size. Healthy eating helps the entire family. Changing the foods only for a larger child will make them feel singled out and can be harmful to their mental health and self-esteem.
  • Do not tease, bully or comment on your child’s body or weight. This will only hurt your child and increase the likelihood of disordered eating and poor body image, even into adulthood.
  • Find other options for rewards instead of food – this includes time together, family activities (going to the park or playing games) or positive affirmations.
  • Improving health is about more than just food and exercise. Getting enough sleep, spending time with friends and family, have a safe and comfortable environment and managing stress all play a crucial role in improving health.
    • Talk with your doctor about resources if your child is struggling in one of these areas. Set aside time for physical activity you can do together as a family. Activity and movement do not need to be boring or take place at a gym. Riding bikes or playing tag are great examples.
  • Be a role model. Kids constantly watch their parents. Improving health should be "do as I do", not "do as I say."

Include these when working on healthy lifestyle

  • Include the entire family as you create a healthier lifestyle.
  • Try not to make too many changes at one time. Pick one or two goal to set your family up for success.
  • Increase the variety of fruits and vegetables you serve. Try them in different ways.
  • Try to eat at home more often. Decrease the number of times you eat out each month. This includes deli, takeout, delivery, fast food, and sit-down restaurants. Cooking and eating at home, when possible, is one of the best ways to support your family’s health.
  • Choose water, white milk or drinks with 3 grams of sugar or less per serving – try flavored or infused water, sparkling water, unsweetened tea, or water with a splash of juice. Remember, juices can have as much sugar as soda.
  • A regular routine is important for overall health. Kids need regular wake-up, going-to-bed, and meal and snack times, even in the summer.
Contact us

If you have questions, contact your doctor or call the NEW Kids Program to request a NEW Kid's referral packet.

(414) 607-5280

NEW Kids Program appointment request

Once your primary care provider has filled out and faxed a referral form for the NEW Kids Program, you can call Central Scheduling to make an appointment at (414) 607-5280.

Request an appointment online.

Diet log

Log your diet with this easy to use form - Diet history log.