Weight Management for Kids: Tips for Weight Loss

dad and young son smiling outdoors

Obesity in children has been increasing continuously over the years.  It continues to be a big challenge to many families as children spend more time at home from virtual school, more time in front of a computer, TV, or smartphone screen, eating larger portions, and playing outside less frequently. 

Weight gain and obesity are sensitive subjects. There is social stigma against being overweight, gaining weight, and even more so for children. As a pediatrician, I have had to have this conversation with my patients and their families often.  Instead of feeling defeated and powerless, I think there are many positive ways to tackle childhood obesity and weight gain that can be empowering for the whole family.

Is my child overweight?

The American Academy of Pediatrics defines childhood overweight as being at 85th percentile or above in BMI (body mass index). Another way to recognize excess weight gain is weight gain over 5 lbs in a year in toddlers, and more than 15 lbs a year in young adolescents.  The differences in our genetics and body composition can attribute to the differences in how your child grows.

First and foremost, I want to reassure you that most children can lose weight and get back into a healthy weight range with more ease than adults.  Children are still in a phase of their lives building good habits and lifestyle habits, and with good role-models and encouragement I believe they can learn and acquire habits that will help them stay healthy.

Tips for weight loss in children

1. Increase activity

2. Do not use food as a reward

3. Keep only healthy options at home

4. Avoid sugary drinks

5. Make healthy eating a family plan

Dr. Eileen Shi

Board-Certified Las Vegas Pediatrician

Your pediatrician should always be your child’s advocate and believe your child always comes first. Little Roots Pediatrics families on their wellness journey with Concierge Pediatric care. We integrate evidence-based care with holistic health principles to provide the most up-to-date, direct-access pediatric care.