Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tips to Prevent Childhood Obesity

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
One in 3 children in the U.S. is overweight or obese. Sadly, childhood obesity puts kids at risk for many serious health problems, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. Here are some tips that help prevent childhood obesity:

  1. Encourage healthy snacking. Keep fresh fruit within children’s reach. 
  2. Don't force kids to clean their plates if they are full.
  3. Make fun, healthy snacks (here are some ideas)
  4. Skip sugary drinks like sodas, instead choose water, low-fat milk or 100% fruit juice.
  5. Watch portion size. Kids are smaller than adults and should eat smaller portions. Portions should be about the size of the back of a fist—a child’s fist for a child’s portion
  6. Track screen time. Screens include phones, tablets, computers, video games, televisions, etc. If screen time is under 2 hours a day, great! If not-it's time to get out and move.
  7. Make sure your child gets 60 minutes of physical activity each day. School PE classes can be counted as part of the 60 minutes. Some ideas for activities at home: walking as a family, jogging, running, playing tag, playing at the park, swimming, jumping rope, biking, tossing a ball, and dancing.
  8. Make celebrations more about doing fun activities and less about eating. Trying going to a park, zoo, beach to do fun outdoor activities.
  9. Eat together at regularly scheduled times. Regularly scheduled meal and snack times help kids learn structure for eating. And eating together as a family is a chance to model good behavior.
Got any tips to prevent childhood obesity? Please share them below!

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