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4 Tips to Fight Childhood Obesity

Kids eating takeout and watching TVIt’s difficult to keep track of exactly what your children eat and do – whether they are getting enough fruits and vegetables, as well as enough physical activity each day. However, a well-balanced diet and regular exercise are key to helping or preventing childhood obesity, which has doubled in the last 30 years and now affects one in three American children.

But, it’s not just about a healthy weight. Childhood obesity puts kids at a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, poor bone density and joint problems, as well as low self-esteem.

In honor of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September, here are a few tips to help you track and better control your child’s health to ensure they are on the right track.

  1. Turn off the TV. It can be tempting to go home and relax in front of the TV after a long day at work, but resist the urge.  Get active instead.
  2. Make exercise a game. While exercise may sound harsh and unappealing for a child, play time is a clever disguise. Simple games like playing catch or hide and seek can get your child excited about being active.
  3. Teach moderation at a young age. It’s no secret that kids love sweets and will eat it any chance they get, but teaching your child to enjoy sweets in moderation doesn’t have to be hard. For example, use them as a small and rare reward for extraordinary behavior or for dessert when they have finished all of their vegetables.
  4. Make tasty treats. Use after-school snacks as a way to get your children the recommended half cup of fruit and half cup of veggies each day. Disguising healthy foods in delicious, kid-friendly ways can help your child to develop a healthy relationship with fruits and veggies. For example, make celery sticks or apple slices with peanut available for an easy snack that kids love. Making fruits and veggies into fun shapes is another great way to make foods that are otherwise boring to kids loads of fun.

Avoiding childhood obesity can be as easy as it is fun, but it can also make a huge difference in your child’s life and health. If you are concerned that your child may be obese, make an appointment with his or her pediatrician or primary care provider. To establish a relationship with a primary care provider, just call (319) 369-4444.

For more healthy recipes and ideas, watch our Health-e Eats videos featuring Mercy’s chef and dietitians.

4 Tips to Fight Childhood Obesity      

It’s difficult to keep track of exactly what your children eat  and do – whether they are getting enough fruits and vegetables, as well as enough physical activity each day. However, a well-balanced diet and regular exercise are key to helping or preventing childhood obesity, which has doubled in the last 30 years and now affects one in three American children. But, it’s not just about a healthy weight. Childhood obesity puts kids at a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, poor bone density and joint problems, as well as low self-esteem.

In honor of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September, here are a few tips to help you track and better control your child’s health to ensure they are on the right track.

1.       Turn off the TV. It can be tempting to go home and relax in front of the TV after a long day at work, but resist the urge.  Get active instead.

2.       Make exercise a game. While exercise may sound harsh and unappealing for a child, play time is a clever disguise. Simple games like playing catch or hide and seek can get your child excited about being active.

3.       Teach moderation at a young age. It’s no secret that kids love sweets and will eat it any chance they get, but teaching your child to enjoy sweets in moderation doesn’t have to be hard. For example, use them as a small and rare reward for extraordinary behavior or for dessert when they have finished all of their vegetables.

4.       Make tasty treats. Use after-school snacks as a way to get your children the recommended half cup of fruit and half cup of veggies each day. Disguising healthy foods in delicious, kid-friendly ways can help your child to develop a healthy relationship with fruits and veggies. For example, make celery sticks or apple slices with peanut available for an easy snack that kids love. Making fruits and veggies into fun shapes is another great way to make foods that are otherwise boring to kids loads of fun.

Avoiding childhood obesity can be as easy as it is fun, but it can also make a huge difference in your child’s life and health. If you are concerned that your child may be obese, make an appointment with his or her pediatrician or primary care provider. To establish a relationship with a primary care provider, just call (319) 369-4444. For more healthy recipes and ideas, watch our Health-e Eats videos featuring Mercy’s chef and dietitians.