Parents must step up and take action since young children have limited control over factors that can contribute to their weight status, like the types of food that are available to them.

The Insitute of Medicines rescommends parents take the following actions:

• Promote healthful eating behaviors and regular physical activity for their children.

• Choose exclusive breastfeeding as the method for feeding infants for the first four to six months of life.

• Provide healthful food and beverage choices for children by carefully considering nutrient quality and energy density.

• Assist and educate children in making healthful decisions regarding types of foods and beverages to consume, how often, and in what portion size.

• Encourage and support regular physical activity.

• Limit children’s television viewing and other recreational screen time to fewer than two hours per day.

• Discuss weight status with their child’s health-care provider and monitor age- and gender-specific body mass index (BMI) percentile.

• Serve as positive role models for their children regarding eating and physical-activity behaviors.

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