Keep It Kid-Friendly
"Young kids usually don't understand that their bodies look a certain way because of the foods they eat or the amount of TV they watch," says Melinda Sothern, PhD, author of Trim Kids. Help your child make the connection. Say, "I know you don't like being heavier than your friends. But you can change that by spending less time sitting around and more time moving your body."
Likewise, a 6-year-old can't relate to long-term health threats caused by obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease. Keep it simple: "If you eat lots of fruit and vegetables and play outside more, you'll be able to run around the bases without getting tired."
Girls may be more interested in hearing how lifestyle changes will improve their appearance. Tell your daughter how shiny her hair will look if she eats more fruits and vegetables. Or say, "If you keep playing soccer, you'll get into better shape and we'll probably need to go shopping for some new clothes."