September Is National Obesity Awareness Month – Easy To Follow Tips!

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Is your family doing enough to help incorporate healthy eating habits and physical activity into your everyday routines? Ask for some tips on your next visit at Just Kids Pediatrics or schedule an appointment to discuss healthy lifestyles now.

According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than tripled in children and adolescents over the past 30 years, with 1 in 6 children considered obese. Obese children face greater risks for a number of chronic health problems including diabetes and hypertension during childhood. If you’re concerned about your family, let your pediatrician know on your next visit to Just Kids Pediatrics.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day #1: Eat Healthy: Make water the drink of choice. Other healthy drink options include low fat milk. The goal is ZERO sugary beverages (juice, soda, energy drinks, lemonade, etc.). If your child is craving a sweet drink, Crystal Light packets or Mio drops are easy sugar-free ways to add flavor and keep you child drinking more water.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#2: Eat Healthy: Create your plate is the new model to help kids and their families eat healthy. See photo below (attached). Choosemyplate.gov is a great resource for meal planning.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#3: Eat Healthy: Make it easy for everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at each meal. Feel free to mix and match fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables to provide variety. An easy way to measure portion sizes for fruits and vegetables is one handful.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#4: Eat Healthy: Lean meats are best. They include baked or grilled, not fried, chicken, turkey, and seafood. Red meats can be eaten just choose lean cuts and avoid having them every day.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#5: Eat Healthy: WHOLE grains are heart healthy. This can include pastas, breads and brown rice.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day #6: Eat Healthy: Always eat breakfast. As the saying goes “it is the most important meal of the day”. Eating breakfast jumpstarts your kid’s metabolism and provides energy so your kids can do their best at school.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#7: Eat Healthy: Choose healthy snacks. Let your kids choose from healthy options. Be aware of serving sizes on packaging and only portion out the given serving size for your kids.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#8: Play Every Day: Kids should have at least an hour a day of physical activity every day. Ideas to play outside: sports, walking, tag, going to a playground, helping in the garden, or anything that makes your child move. Ideas of inside play: dancing, cleaning the house, video games that make you move, YouTube videos like GoNoodle have kid friendly work out videos, indoor swimming, bowling or skating rinks are options if the weather doesn’t permit outdoor play.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#9: Go Outside: Kids should break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#10: Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible and involve your kids in meal preparation and clean up. Be a role model for your children. Your kids will learn from you about table manners, likes and dislikes and willingness to try a variety of foods.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#11: One-on-one Time: Adults and kids should take a break from electronics and spend one-on-one time each day with each other, enjoying one another’s company.  It has been shown that behavior improves when we are intentional about talking to kids daily about their lives, dreams and questions.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#12: Reduce Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours per day. Kids can “buy” additional screen time if they play or active more than their 1 hour per day.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Tip of the Day#13: Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule—10-12 hours per night for kids and seven to eight hours for adults. Creating a good sleep routine before bedtime will help with this. Keeping set bedtime and wake times is also important. Avoid screens (TV, computer, phone, tablet, video games) in your child’s room.