Recently, I was profiled in Redbook magazine, answering the question, “Should you put your child on a diet?” My reply was yes.
I’m not advocating starting your eight year old in the Weight Watchers plan, packing the lunchbox with Slim-Fast shakes and enrolling your daughter in a prepared meal plan. I’m also not advocating counting calories with your child, focusing on the number on the scale, or instructing her on weighing out her meals. Rather, I want to talk about helping your child to be healthy, and in some cases, this does mean keeping an eye on her weight.
One of my own daughters began to look a bit heavy. At her 6 year old pediatric check up, her doctor told me that she was getting too heavy and she illustrated this by comparing her growth curve on the chart. She told me that I needed to begin to keep an eye on her portions. I decided that I would begin an experiment. Without telling my daughter what I was doing – because I had no desire to call her attention to the issue – I decreased her portion sizes slightly. She had been eating a little bit more than she probably should have been, and had also become fairly sedentary due to an exceptionally rough winter. It’s tough to get out there when it’s cold and wet all the time.