The Evidence Analysis Library of the American Dietetic Association has a section on pediatric overweight and recently I was give the opportunity to translate the science into section for the consumer side of the ADA website (http://www.eatright.org/)
One thing that struck me was the behavioral science of raising a child to have a healthy weight and a positive body image. Family function can have many positive effects on a child's eating behaviors and weight. Some of the patterns most related to healthy body weight include family closeness, support, and mind-stimulating activities.
My niece, Angela, has all that (and more!) covered in raising her 2 daughters. This April 1 she surprised her oldest daughter with some fun (definitely mind-stimulating!) creative lunch choices. The pictures show Cheez-Its replaced with marshmallows (re-sealed with double sided tape to make it authentic), "Sushi" made with rice krispies, fruit rolls, jelly beans, and black sprinkles, "grilled cheese" from toasted pound cake and yellow icing, and of course, an apple complete with a gummy worm. How much fun is that? What a wonderful way to have fun with a child...OK, the actual substitutions were not as healthy as the original foods, but can you image how the April Fool's surprise from mom's April Foods delighted her elementary school-age daughter??!!