My 12-year-old son is gaining weight quite rapidly. He was always "just right" until middle-school homework cut into his play time. Should I start him on an exercise program? - Rose
As kids get older, they often have more homework and other responsibilities to balance.
Help your son make a schedule, such as an hour of playtime after school, followed by time for homework. Encourage him to get involved in an activity he enjoys, whether it's a team sport like basketball or soccer or just biking around the neighborhood with friends. He'll be more likely to stick with it if it doesn't feel like a chore.
Keep lots of healthy foods in the house and be a good role model — he'll see how important exercise is if you make time for it too.