September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month, so I wanted to share some tips for busy parents on how they can establish healthy habits for their children.
17% of all children ages 2-19 are obese. That's 12 1/2 million kids! 1 in 3 of these kids are overweight or obese before their 5th birthday! This puts these kids at an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and other conditions usually seen only in adults.
Some ways to prevent this are:
-Get kids moving. Limit screen time (tv, computer, video games) and make time for fun exercise and family activities.
-Make sure kids get enough sleep so they have the energy for activity.
-Be aware of beverages such as soda and sugary drinks. Limit these and encourage lots of water.
- Make sure kids have a healthy breakfast every day, provide lots of healthy snacks, and have dinner together as a family.
-Get the kids involved. They are more likely to try new things and eat healthy foods when they help to plan and prepare.
-Be realistic. There will be times when you can't cook, so know ahead of time what some healthy alternatives are.
-Set a good example
Tips for family dinnertime:
-Set an established meal time and routine
-Plan ahead. Having a plan means you will know exactly what you are going to cook and the ingredients will be on hand. Prep the night before if possible.
-Don't short order cook. Make one meal for the family with a variety of food for the kids to choose from, and do not accommodate requests for special items.