1. Environmental structuring of the home is a basic behavioral technique that can be used. One example is to have only healthy snacks in the refrigerator and kitchen so that when the child is hungry he will eat something healthy.
2. A second environmental technique is to reduce access to the refrigerator. Some newer refrigerators have locks that can be activated or deactivated. This is particularly useful with extreme obesity or Kids with problems such as "Prader Willi" syndrome.
3. A third technique is scheduling which leads to less snacking between meals. Children can be informed that eating is to occur only at meals and during two snacks during the day.
4. Another behavioral technique is to reduce the size of the plate at meals so that it looks like more food.
5. Encouraging children to chew each bite at least 10 times so that they digest the food.
6. Eating only when hungry and not for social reasons can help children to loose weight.
7. Parents can take time to explaining long term and short term consequences of weight gain and over eating or eating unhealthy.
8. Children can be encouraged to participate in shopping and purchasing healthy items rather then items that are high calorie.
9. Parents can purchase books to read that talk about healthy eating and eating food from each food group.
10. Parents might try regularly scheduled weight and height measurements to increase awareness of health and eating habits and the effect on weight.
11. Another concern is making sure to schedule specific limited amount of time for sedentary activities like computer or television. Exercise time should also be included in the schedule each day.
It is never to early to start encouraging healthy eating habits, reinforcing these habits and discussing consequences for you children to encourage healthy eating habits in your children as they become adults!