NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic, so how can parents try to instill healthy eating habits in kids from an early age?

Pediatrician Dr. Michael Ronan, with ProHEALTH Care, says he finds obesity to be the most significant pediatric health issue in the Tri-State Area.

Parents should be discussing and implementing healthy eating habits with their children by making healthy food choices, monitoring diets and following a dietary encouragement plan.

Children should avoid foods that are high-calorie and low-nutrition. Additionally, avoid those sugary drinks.

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Parents also need to make sure their children are engaging in and monitoring healthy exercise habits.

For young children, key milestones include rolling, sitting, crawling, walking and running.

As children get older, they should be participating in sports, dance and outdoor recreation.

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As part of monitoring healthy exercise habits, parents should minimize their children’s screen time, which leads to a lack of exercise and outdoor activity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization recommend no screen time at all for children before age 2 and no more than one hour per day after age 2.

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