12015Feb
Childhood Obesity: Help Fight the Epidemic

Childhood Obesity: Help Fight the Epidemic

Look all around us. It’s not hard to see how many of our children are affected.  Childhood obesity can doom our kids to early onset diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and all the terrible complications. If you start them out on the right path, obesity can be minimized, if not prevented. YOU HOLD THE KEYS!

Infants and Toddlers

  1. Work with your doctor to establish reasonable feeding amount and eating schedule.
  2. Introduce fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
  3. Be a good role model for healthy eating habits.
  4. Avoid foods that are kid-friendly but may need to be withheld later:

– Juice and soda (including sports drinks)

– Fries and pasta-heavy dishes (mac ‘n cheese)

– Sugary cereals, cakes, and candies

Behaviors:

  1. You direct all food purchases, not your child. Are you making the best choices at the market or by choosing to go out for a meal? You may find you save money!
  2. How much times does your child watch T.V.? Does food and T.V. go together in your home? Turn OFF the TUBE!
  3. Kids need at least one hour of exercise each day. Identify the obstacles that prevent them from reaching this goal.
  4. Poor sleeping habits are associated with obesity. Go to bed!
  5. It takes ten tastes of a new food to acquire a taste for it. Don’t take “No” for an answer or fix it with a food your child likes.

Strategies to Help School-aged Kids Fight Obesity

Food Choices

  1. Remember, parents control all food purchases, right? Get the most food value for your money. Minimize your dependance on “fast food”If you don’t buy it,cook it, or drive to it, your kids can’t eat it!
  2. The new food pyramid suggests half the plate include fruits and vegetables. Whole grains are preferred and share the other half of the plate with lean meats. Beverages of choice are low fat milk (1% or skim) and water. Avoid sodas and sports drinks.
  3. Portion control: a portion is the size of a child’s fist. Look for fruits and veggies to fill out their appetite.
  4. Pack a school lunch if you can. Eat breakfast at home.
  5. Consider healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, smoothies, string cheese or raw veggies after school.

Behaviors

  1. Encourage organized sports, even if they are noncompetitive.
  2. Limit screen time (T.V., computer, texting) to one hour daily.
  3. Help kids to get the sleep they need. If sleep is a problem, ask your doctor for help.
  4. It takes ten tastes of a new food to acquire a taste for it. Don’t take “No” for an answer or fix it with a food your child likes.
  5. Avoid using food as a reward.


Remember, small changes can produce big results. Make at least one change starting tomorrow! 

Work with your doctor to identify associated health problems. Schedule your appointment today.

For Additional Information Visit:

www.healthychildren.org/growinghealthy

www.choosemyplate.gov

www.letsgo.org