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National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
September is recognized as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and was created to raise awareness for the health concerns of childhood obesity that could potentially lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and other chronic diseases. This recognition was also brought about to help parents and caregivers learn ways to promote healthy growth in children and prevent obesity.
In the Unites States, about 1 in every 5 children has obesity. Not only does obesity affect a child’s health and wellness, but it also can lead to other problems, such as bullying from others kids, depression, social isolation, and lower self-esteem. Unfortunately, there is no one-time simple solution to fixing this health problem, but there are several ways parents, caregivers, and communities can support children as they try to create healthy habits and lead healthy lives.
Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits
There are several changes you can make to your child’s diet and many ways to encourage their own healthy food choices. Provide vegetables, whole-grain foods, and fruit during meals and incorporate them into your child’s snacks. Don’t overserve them, give reasonable portions and teach them how to determine portion sizing for a healthy diet. An important factor of a healthy diet and lifestyle is water – make your family aware of how much water can affect your health and encourage them to drink more!
When preparing family favorite dishes, try putting a healthy spin on it, like using whole-wheat pasta or adding vegetables to any dish. You can also introduce new healthy dishes at the dinner table too!
Creating a healthy diet and instilling healthy eating habits and food choices is one large factor that can positively affect your child’s health. The next factor is physical activity. Kids should be getting a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days, if not every day of the week. Since we are in the age of technology, now is the time to help your kids turn away from their screens and get active. There are several fun activities you can do to help your kids get moving:
- Taking walks with them or having them take a brisk walk
- Playing a game of tag
- Jumping rope
- Participating in sports like soccer, baseball, and basketball
Teaching kids about the importance of a healthy lifestyle is crucial to their drive toward achieve a healthy lifestyle and making smart food choices. Help your kids understand that there are many benefits to living a healthy lifestyle, like bone strength, reduced stress and anxiety, and the assistance it gives to successfully maintaining a healthy weight.
Learn more about childhood obesity and tips to creating healthy habits, visit:
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