Approximately one in six children in the United States is considered to be obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). September is recognized as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, providing a chance for all of us to learn more about this serious health condition.
While there isn’t one solution to childhood obesity, there are many simple ways to support children and their health.
Experts recommend making sure kids always have access to water, encouraging them to quench their thirst (and stay hydrated) without sugary beverages or juice. Sending your children to school or other activities with a full water bottle is a good way to ensure they will have water handy throughout their day. Reusable water bottles are both environmentally friendly and kid-friendly, coming in lots of fun colors and prints for your little ones. Consider allowing your son or daughter to choose their own water bottle to help them get into the habit of keeping it with them when your family is on the go.
In 2013, just nine percent of adolescents ate enough fruit and two percent ate enough vegetables, according to the CDC . Swapping pre-packaged snack foods with fresh fruits and veggies is an easy way to increase intake of vital nutrients that your children need to stay healthy.
Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. That could include hitting the playground, playing sports or games like tag, or exploring the great outdoors. Find safe, age-appropriate activities for your family and make it fun!
Children learn by observing the people around them, so set a good example. Make sure the kids in your life see you enjoying healthy foods and physical activity. You’ll take good care of your own health while teaching healthy habits.
Today’s schools work hard to create positive, healthy environments for students. Support their efforts by encouraging your student(s) to choose healthy foods for lunch and snack time and to participate in gym class and other physical activities. Many schools are also in need of adults to volunteer for coaching positions – join in the fun and keep kids moving!
Childhood shouldn’t be about restriction, diets, or worrying about physical appearance. By focusing on healthy choices and fun movement, we can help the children in our communities live healthful, high-energy lives.
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