September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. It is becoming more and more important for everyone to realize the importance of health and wellness. Statistics show that one out of every 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese.
These children are at risk for health problems that once were never an issue for young kids. These health problems include high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. September is a month that we can make a difference in childhood obesity.
Communities, families, and health care professionals can come together and educate as well as create opportunities for kids to become more active and eat healthier. Everyone can make a difference this Childhood Obesity Awareness Month!
Preventing Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is very preventable. Children can learn to eat healthy and maintain healthy levels of activity. In a fast paced world where there are so many fast food restaurants and other unhealthy quick food choices, children need to be educated on the importance of eating healthy. The education needs to happen both at home and in the community.
Families can make small steps towards change that will make a big difference. For example, keeping fresh fruit on hand for quick snacks will encourage everyone to choose a healthy snack over potato chips. After dinner, the entire family could go for a walk around the block. Parents can encourage physical activity or sports as hobbies over video games and television. Parents can also assign chores to their children. Vacuuming the floor or dusting the house is great for a little physical activity, and you will save money on the maid service!
Set an Example
A big part of educating young children is to set a good example. Children look to their parents to see how to act and what to do. If the parents are healthy and active, the children are much more likely to follow suit.
Teachers and other education professionals and administrators can make schools healthier. Schools can provide healthy food options and allow daily physical activity time for students. Teachers also need to be healthy role models for children. Kids spend a good portion of the day with their teachers and watch them. If teachers are making healthy food choices and talking about physical activity, it will rub off on the students. These are small steps that make a huge impact on childhood obesity.
Many families are very busy. Both parents might work outside the home, and the children have many extracurricular activities. These families might opt for convenient options to help save time.
These options might include picking up food on the way home or hiring a maid service to help with the house chores. There is nothing wrong with convenient meal options or hiring a maid service to help out. There are several options available that offer healthy choices including some options that mail prepared food directly to your front door. Crock pots also offer parents the ability to cook healthy meals with very little prep time.
There are also lots of options to work in physical activity into your day that won’t take up much of your time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car at the back of the parking lot and walk. Have a dance party with your kids! Take the kids for a jog or a bike ride. Spend more time outdoors on the weekends when you aren’t at work. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity! If you tap into your child’s brain, they will likely have lots of fun ideas of their own.
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A Healthy Future
Working together, the government, communities, schools, and parents can help prevent childhood obesity and educate children on the importance of healthy food and physical activity. These children are our future, and we want a healthy future for them. It is up to us to make that happen. Childhood obesity can be prevented. If everyone joins in this Childhood Obesity Awareness month, we can stamp it out altogether for our future generations. Teach your family good habits and let Kids Take Over the Kitchen.