<br/>Childhood obesity is becoming very common in the United States and other countries. This is a real cause for concern, as it puts children and teenagers at risk for many health problems. Fortunately, there are many things parents can do to help kids who are overweight. The following are some helpful recommendations for keeping your kids active and healthy.<br/><br/>Get your child to be a lot more active by scheduling healthy family activities regularly. Do this and the whole family will benefit too. It provides a wonderful bonding opportunity for everyone in the family while they get healthy. Go on long hikes one weekend and swimming the following weekend. Vary the physical activities you do with the family every week so your child doesn't get bored. Does your family have dogs? Make the family activities more fun by taking them along. And when you go on family vacations, it's important that you keep your child engaged in healthy activities. It won't help your child if you spend hours driving around or riding in a tour bus. Doing healthy physical activities together as a family is a wonderful way you can encourage your child to develop healthy habits. Another thing you can do is encourage your child to eat snacks that are healthy and low in calories. Children love to snack and when they do, they often snack on chips, candies, and other junk foods. Your child can snack on things like nuts and fruits. Your attempts at changing your child's snacking habit will most likely be met with resistance but only at the beginning. You'll need to be firm and let your child know that he or she will be much better off snacking on healthy foods. Pack trail mix with your child's lunch and keep such healthy snacks within easy reach at home.<br/><br/>One bad habit that many children and adults develop is eating meal portions that are much bigger than what is necessary. In many cases, this habit starts when parents force their children to finish all the food on their plate. If your child is underweight or doesn't seem to be eating enough, you (source) should encourage your child to eat more. However, if your child is of average weight or overweight, make sure you're not contributing to the problem by overloading his or her plate with food. This can be an issue at restaurants and fast food places as well. It's best to start with a smaller portion and take more if the child is still hungry, as putting large amounts of food in front of a child will only encourage him or her to overeat. <br/><br/>Childhood obesity is a serious problem, and parents should be aware of what causes it and how to deal with it. If you've got an overweight or obese child, talk to your child's doctor and work with the doctor in designing a plan that will get your child to a healthy weight. Don't just sit and let your child become obese; there is something you can do to get your child to a healthy weight. For starters, use the tips we've provided in this article.