August 11, 2011
Dieting for Children

Sara, a Facebook fan of The Doctors, says that her 8-year-old son is overweight and is starting to get teased. She wants to know if it is safe to put him on a diet, and if so, how many calories should he 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.

"To that point, I have a tip," Liz says. "Brown-bag [meals] at least once a week. You can save thousands of calories, not to mention hundreds of dollars, by preparing your own food. You know what the ingredients are, you can manage the portions, so your child is eating foods that he or she loves, but you have control of how many calories might go in it."

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