A combination of healthier food options and increased physical activity is a safe way to help a child lose weight, according to WebMD. Making small changes in diet and exercise habits can add up, without the use of restrictive diets or extreme weight loss methods that are potentially dangerous.
Making healthier choices as a family creates a positive feeling toward the changes. Parents who eat well and stay active serve as a role model to their children, notes the American Heart Association. Eating together as a family, keeping healthy foods in the home, and engaging in physical activity together are ways to get the family involved.
Children need at least 60 minutes of exercise daily, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead of putting children through an exercise regimen, parents can encourage active play such as tag, hikes or bike riding. A limit of one or two hours of recreational screen time also encourages children to stay active, suggests the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Food choices also play a major role in a child's weight. Parents encourage healthy eating habits by keeping healthy foods easily accessible. Sugary beverages, including juices, increase the child's sugar and calorie intake, making it difficult to maintain or lose weight, notes Mayo Clinic.