Children and Dieting

Is it ever safe to put a child on a diet, and if so, how many calories should he or she be eating?"

"This is one of the big things with kids," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "I never like to use the word diet. Kids, you can't deprive them. They are developing, just like a little baby, too. Their brains are developing and they need those nutrients."

If your child is overweight, Dr. Jim suggests eliminating sweet drinks, such as sugary sodas and juices, from their diet. Also, studies have found that you and your children can lose weight by becoming part-time vegetarians, occasionally eating meals without meat.

Packing brown-bag lunches at least once a week can save thousands of calories and hundreds of dollars. Preparing food for yourself and your child allows you to control the ingredients and the portions.