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Age-Specific Desired Behaviors to Prevent Early Childhood Obesity

Healthy Active Living for Families

Do you know what desired behaviors are critical to help families cultivate healthy active living and help prevent early childhood obesity? Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics' Infant Food and Feeding, Toddler Food and Feeding, and Preschooler Food and Feeding pages to find and learn about these evidence-based desired behaviors related to breastfeeding, bottle feeding, food introduction, infant self-feeding, healthy snacking, healthy beverages, picky eating, and the parent provides/child decides practice.

For each of them, you can explore the evidence, learn what parents have said about these behaviors, identify opportunities to promote healthy behaviors at the point of contact, review how to start conversations and access messages and resources to support families.

Also available to inform your counseling and help you provide anticipatory guidance are the Onset and Patterns of Risk Behaviors timelines that illustrate what kind of behaviors are associated with overweight and obesity and when they occur.

Infancy Timeline
Toddler Timeline
Preschooler Timeline

These interactive tools are part of AAP's Healthy Active Living for Families: Right from the Start (HALF) initiative intended to address early childhood obesity prevention and provide positive, family-focused messages specific to preventing obesity for the developmental stages of infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood. Also among the tools are those for parents, including:

A "Are You Raising a Healthy, Active Child?" quiz to help dispel some of the common myths around food and feeding, physical activity, and healthy active living.

A Quick Tips: Keep Your Child Healthy widget that provides parents with tailored, realistic, parent-derived and evidence-informed action strategies about areas of healthy, active living that are most important to them. Topics include breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, starting solid foods, picky eaters, snack time, routines, physical activity, screen time and sleep.

A tool that answers the top questions from parents and provides practical tips from parents about what works when it comes to raising a healthy, active child. Information is provided for each developmental stage for the topics Food & Feeding, Physical Activity, and Tips for Parents.

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