How to avoid over eating

Learn about: How to avoid over eating from Cara Natterson, MD,...
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How to avoid over eating

It can be really hard to talk to your child about weight issues and not affect their self-esteem, or at least not affect their self-esteem in a negative way. We live in a country when 1 out of every 3 children is obese or overweight, so weight issues are very real for a large number of kids. I think it’s incredibly important that parents never lie to their children. If you lie to your child and your child figures out you’re lying, then you’ve lost them. You’ve lost their trust. They’re not going to come back and ask you a question and believe what you say. So when it comes to teaching them about eating and overeating, teach them in a way that they can understand that’s completely non-judgmental. Start by telling your child you think they’re beautiful. That’s really important. And kids, as they get older, will always remember that their parents said, “I thought you are beautiful.” But then, make it a little bit more scientific. What I do with my own kids is we’re learning how to read labels. So we take a label off of something and we say, “Okay, what’s the serving size? And what does that mean? And why?” And I can explain to them that there are people who study the science of nutrition and they’ve determined what the right amount is to eat. You know, you look at a Gatorade bottle – don’t get me started on Gatorade, I think it’s terrible to begin with – but it’s 2.5 servings. And most kids are guzzling 20 oz as if it’s a single serving. Teach kids to read labels, so that they understand how much they’re supposed to be ingesting at a time. That will help them to understand that you’re not judging how they look, but instead, you’re trying to teach them to eat the right portions. And model the behavior. So when you go out to a restaurant, instead of everyone eating a main course, which is too much food for an adult, start sharing meals or eating appetizers as your main course. Think about what you’re teaching your kids about portion size in how you feed yourself, whether it’s at home or at a restaurant.

Learn about: How to avoid over eating from Cara Natterson, MD,...


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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