As parents, we want to help ensure our children develop healthy lifestyles that will take them well into adulthood.  One of the most important healthy behaviors is eating.  It is estimated that between 13-30% of children in this country are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.  On the other end of the weight spectrum, an estimated 7 million girls and 1 million boys have an eating disorder.  Either extreme...obesity or bulemia/anorexia can cause health problems that can last a lifetime.
    Weight is determined by a number of factors:  genetics, environment, activity, and emotions.  Paying attention to cues your child gives regarding food can help guide eating habits.  Experts suggest paying attention to the whole child and not focusing on their weight.  Food preference takes to time to change and develop.  To a child, pressure to loose or gain weight can feel like critisim and ultimately backfire.
    Children learn by experience-look at your own food habits and ideas about weight.  Become active and make a conscious decision to eat healthier and promote family activities that do not involve food as a reward.  Help your child to understand the importance of healthy eating habits.