The SparkPeople Blog

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/21/2010 10:43 AM   :  40 comments   :  15,419 Views

See More: obesity, children,
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity has become a national epidemic in this country and if we do nothing to help this generation of kids to learn to embrace healthy habits now they face the potential risk of developing adult diseases such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and even heart disease at a very young age. Sadly some of these kids have already met this fate.

The American College of Sports Medicine in conjunction with several other prominent organizations, such as the NAACP, the American Society for Nutrition, the Cleveland Clinic and HealthCorps, just to name a few, are waging a battle against childhood obesity by declaring September National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. On March 26, 2010 the United States Senate passed this declaration to help raise awareness to parents and educators that action needs to be taken now if we hope to curtail this growing trend.

The statistics are alarming. According to the American College of Sports Medicine over 23 million children ages 2 to 19 are considered overweight or obese. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the number of overweight/obese children has more than tripled in just 30 years. It is estimated that one third of children born after the year 2000 face the risk of developing diabetes in their lifetime, not to mention the complications that follow from having this disease.

So how did we get to this point in such a short time?

Our kids are not living the active lifestyle we did as kids. Television, computers, video games and lack of physical education classes in school bear some of the responsibility. This coupled with many kids eating out at restaurants, whether sit down or fast food, on an almost daily basis where portion control is hard to manage, is also a contributing factor.

First Lady Michelle Obama has taken on the mission to get our children active and eating healthier by launching the Let's Move! program earlier this year. This program is designed to help parents, grandparents and educators in guiding our youth toward healthy habits so that this generation may be able to avoid many of the complications that accompany being overweight and obese.

I like to think that hope is not lost. SparkPeople is playing a role in helping change the course we are on as a nation. SparkTeens and SparkAmerica are two sites that can help our youth and their parents learn to embrace healthy habits, and more importantly learn to look at this journey as lifestyle and not just a diet to lose weight. Making healthy living a family activity is what I believe will help us to transform this generation of kids.

As a parent, grandparent or educator do you help the children in your life to embrace a healthy lifestyle? What actions have you taken to guide your children? What do you believe it will take to change the childhood obesity epidemic?


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Comments

  • 40
    @LOVELYFLEUR86 and @ DAWNFRNJ Obviously, you didn't read my whole post and didn't understand my point. I don't blame anyone for my challenges with health and nutrition. Having lost over 75 pounds through SP, I have become quite familiar with its many tools. I have extensively analyzed my spending habits, especially on food, and yes, I do spend more now that I am making healthier food choices. I am not complaining. I am just saying that a Congressional declaration that admonishes people for their habits will not help children fight obesity and embrace fitness. We should not waste our time arguing with each other in this forum. We should support each other and reach out to others. - 8/30/2010   3:24:27 PM
  • 39
    I posted before I was finished...

    It would be so easy for my sister to just let my niece eat whatever she wanted and not worry about the fat/calories. But she is doing what's good for her. I think a lot of parents are too interested in being "friends" with thier kids rather than being parents. It's not all about having your kids like you. It's about doing what's best for them. I seriously doubt that my niece is going to grow up disliking my sister because she was made to eat fruit. But perhaps she will grow up making healthier food choices because of the decisions my sister made when she was little. - 8/24/2010   11:17:16 AM
  • 38
    Funny Story: My sister is trying to change my nieces eating habits. She's only 4 and not overweight or anything, but she does not like to try new things and, of course, loves sweets. So she's been having her try a new fruit a couple times a week and telling her that it's a healthy snack. A couple weeks ago I made a bag of 94% fat free popcorn for a snack and Kenzie thought that her mommy would be mad because she was having junkfood. So I told her that this popcorn was a healthy snack. So the next day she tells her mommy that she can have popcorn for lunch because "TT" (that's me!) told her that popcorn was a fruit. lol Guess my sis needs to start introducing her to other non-fruit healthy snacks before she thinks that everything is a fruit! - 8/24/2010   11:08:24 AM
  • 37
    @LOVELYFLEUR86, I agree with you 100%! It is time that people took responsibility for themselves and stop making excuses. I am guilty of doing this also, and work very hard to take responsibility for myself. - 8/24/2010   10:50:37 AM
  • LOVELYFLEUR86
    36
    @ JinJerly: I do not mean to attack you but you need to accept responsibility for your own obesity. Yes parents/family members/society can be cruel and healthy food can be more expensive. But you alone are responsible for your own actions. Maybe you should analyze your relationship with food. I found that using the HALT method helped me lose over 100lbs. I too struggled with constant negative comments and an emotional dependency on food but if you truly want to become healithier you can do it. It's just hard work: both physically and mentally. And trust me, it can suck BUT the end result is worth the journey.

    Also, I'm exhausted of the arguement that healthy food is more expensive. I lived paycheck to paycheck for years and I managed to lose weight along with a maintaining a gym membership. Lentils, beans, and eggs are very inexpensive sources of protein. Frozen vegetables (even generic brands) are excellent sources of nutrients because they are frozen immediately after being harvested therefore many frozen vegetables have more nutritional value than their fresh counterparts. Typically it's the processed "healthy" food that is more expensive (a box of Organic cereal is $5.00 for 10-12 servings where a container of oats is $2.50 for 30 servings) Also, analyze your other spending habits. I didn't have cable television, I checked out books at the library instead of purchasing, I cut coupons, I didn't go out to eat very often, etc. It's all about your choices. - 8/24/2010   9:43:37 AM
  • 35
    More people need to read David Kessler's book: "The End of Overeating," and get really mad. Too many of us are addicted to salt, fat, and sugar. - 8/23/2010   10:11:49 PM
  • 34
    My granddaughter is overweight and is only 6 years old. Her mother and other grandparents are killing her with food, and don't even see it. She is active and when she spent a couple of days with me over my vacation, she ate good meals with me and snacked on grapes, she loved them! She swam a lot (she loves it)and ran, flying her kite. It breaks my heart to see her so heavy, because I know what she is in store for when she starts her new school this week. I can only hope that her family stops with their junk food rewards. She deserves to be healthy! - 8/23/2010   6:08:56 PM
  • MUSLIMAH_AK
    33
    One thing that I hate about this whole child obesity issue, is that some children really shouldn't be labeled as obese. I know of some really big boned and muscular children and some tall skinny kids who are labeled overweight or borderline obese. some ethnicities are gonna be higher on the bmi (somoans, anybody).

    but in general, i would have to say, parents and school have a lot to do with it. my kids eat plenty of veggie and fruits adn they're extremely active. but they're also 5 adn 6. so we'll hve to see. - 8/23/2010   2:43:05 PM
  • 32
    First and foremost, my husband and I have to be the role models - eat well and exercise regularly. That has been a big lesson for us!! Second, I need to make healthy meals for the family to eat together. And third, we need to make family-oriented, active time together - like hiking a mountain, going kayaking, or swimming at the beach. I'd say we're about 70% successful at these three action items, and hopefully improving daily! - 8/23/2010   10:48:56 AM
  • 31
    Iím disgusted that Congress declared each September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Obese children are painfully aware of their weight. The first month of each school year should not be about lowering their self-esteem. Obesity is not the childís fault. They eat what their parents give them and the nutritionally awful school breakfasts and lunches. Normal weight children are not necessarily healthy. All children should be educated about healthy living. Itís very wrong of Congress and the first lady to single out the obese. A better choice is National Childhood Health Awareness Month. - 8/23/2010   2:14:59 AM
  • 30
    We model healthy eating and fitness to our children so they grow up understanding this is a normal way to live. We have treats but they are the exception, not the rule. We eat out about once a month - if that and my even then we order veggies with their meals. If they want dessert at a restaurant then they need to eat veggies too. We don't eat fast food, we pack our own lunches and snacks when we are on the road, we don't drink soda, we plan active activities like family bike rides and walks to the park. I will not let my children be one of these statistics. It is not fair and it's my job to ensure they are given all the best chances of growing up healthy. - 8/22/2010   10:46:31 PM
  • 29
    I have been out of school for 20 years. Back then, we had the choice of phys ed or music but not both. So as a music student, I didn't get active. At home, Mom always had a healthy meal on the table. She encouraged me to be more active. I did what I wanted. I made money babysitting and spent it on junk food and fast food. Looking back, how I lived my highschool and year at university is my biggest regret. I didn't think, know, believe or understand what no activity and an unhealthy diet would bring me. I know now and I am making the choice to change. - 8/22/2010   9:50:49 PM
  • CHICKFORCHRIST
    28
    My children have never been overweight. My oldest has gained weight living with his dad and it makes me sad that he doesn't care that it effects his health over all and that his dad doesn't help to make him get out of the house. Now he is working and I hope that will help. As an educator, I try to engage the kids in activity outside and to be active at home!
    Also encouraging them to eat healthy by setting the example with my own food choices. - 8/22/2010   7:57:15 PM
  • 27
    Maybe more schools in th USA should take notice of Jamie's Food Revolution and make sure schools offer less processed food, offer more fresh salds and vegetables and educate kids to healthy eating. At the beginning they will protest but it has to be the way. - 8/22/2010   6:04:11 PM
  • 26
    I'm a middle school choir director. We do a "tossed salad" thing every 10-15 minutes. They count off and they have to move to a different seat on a different riser. When they get to their new seats, we do a few movement activities before they sit back down.

    But I can tell you, they have TERRIBLE lunch eating habits!! I'm trying to lead by example. I tell them, "You don't want to end up like me." (a morbidly obese type II diabetic who had a heart attack in her 40s) "Make changes NOW!" - 8/22/2010   4:17:25 PM
  • DAISY238
    25
    My daughter is only 2 and I can see that she is a little overweight. I will not put her on a diet but since I have started to eat healthier she has also. We get outside more and this has helped us both alot. Her grandparents are also aware that she is not to have candy or soda at their house. - 8/22/2010   3:54:11 PM
  • 24
    I have a son who is very thin and active in soccer and plays non structured sports with his friends all the time. His father is extremelt thin for his height (6'1" and 150lbs tops). My daughter on the other hand is not as active but certainly not sedentary either. She plays soccer, swims and does yoga. That being said, she is one the overweight end of the chart, not by much but she is. We have an activity schedule for her to follow as well as no eating after certain hours and she eats very healthy and I portion control her. HER father is built very stalky and solid, and she is built EXACTLY the same. I do believe that genes play a huge part in in at first, but how we deal with what we have been given also plays a part. I think that if we just let her eat whatever, whenever, she'd be obese. I also think she will always have to work harder to maintain a healthy weight, whereas her brother probably will never. There is such thing as a thin gene and some people are simply lucky enough to have it...the rest of us will always have to work at it. - 8/22/2010   11:19:14 AM
  • 23
    My kids did soccer, basketball and softball from Kindergarten through 3rd grade (because that was what was offered in my community). Gross motor skills, cooperation, learning to graciously win or lose were all lessons as well as the health benefits. On the other hand, organized sports introduced my kids to JUNK food for the first time, since it was tradition to provide crap after games. Haha!

    My 2 daughters LOVED sports and continued through high school on sports teams and intramural sports in college. One does physical work for her job now (scuba!!-what a dream job). My 2 sons, on the other hand, have become extremely sedentary because of their interest in computer games. Do other parents notice more a problem with their boys than their girls?
    - 8/22/2010   10:37:18 AM
  • 22
    I believe that the "epidemic" can be attributed to: 1. inactivity by children, 2. poor food choices by the children's parents. Growing up in the 60's and 70's we had a LOT fewer "low fat" and "fat free" food choices, yet there was no epidemic. We played outside or inside - actively, and our parents set good examples and made good food choices. It's time that we go back to many of the "ways of yesterday".
    Parents MUST start MAKING the time to be parents. Please DON'T blame t.v. 1. Kids only watch it if the parents let them. 2. There were many commercials for junk foods when I was growing up and many enticements to buy them. Our parents limited the availability of junk food in the house. - 8/22/2010   9:44:53 AM
  • 21
    I have brought up my four children to eat healthy food most of the time. I did not prohibit any food groups but encouraged moderation in the high fat high sugar foods. - Even down to fizzy drinks, these were limited and thankfully, I had no resistance to the regime. Even now when 2 have left home they continue with their healthy eating. Exercise was always fun. As a family we would have walks together and the children were always encouraged to come swimming or join clubs that promoted fun exercise.
    Looking back, I did not realise that small changes in our family routine would impact in such positive ways.
    I have also just begun growing alot of my own salad vegetables and potatoes. My family have benefited and now most of them actually participate in the weeding, watering and harvesting of the products. - 8/22/2010   8:20:25 AM
  • 20
    I try to lead by example by exercising on a daily basis and eating healthy. Both my sons did great while they were young following this but now my 18 year old chooses to do his own thing and eat what he wants. It drives me crazy but I really do not have much control over it now. I can only keep telling him about the health risks associated with his eating habits and try to get him to eat differently. He has a free membership at the fitness center he works at but rarely uses it. I run a kids fitness website and tell him everyday about the importance of fitness and it is like it goes in one ear and out the other, I guess it is a good thing he is not obese but if he continues on this path he will be. It is very frustrating and i will not give up but it is our job as parents to try to lead by example. - 8/22/2010   7:19:26 AM
  • 19
    My sons are both at healthy weights. (ages 4 and 6) They run around a lot and I take them to swimming lessons and soccer for the 6 yo. The 4 yo does tennis and a gross motor/gym class he likes a lot. I'm trying to get the younger one interested in bikes so we can all ride together. But they've always been slim. In fact the doctor said they were under weight around age 18 months (both of them went through this). I was scrambling to feed them egg yolk and mayo sandwiches etc. :). I don't feed them very much processed food and we have oatmeal for breakfast instead of boxed cereal. We only have sweets twice a week.

    However, I was thin as a rail until I went to college, the I packed on the pounds. I've only now managed to get out of the obese range thanks to SparkPeople. So I don't know what will happen to my kids as adults. - 8/22/2010   2:05:45 AM
  • 18
    I grew up in the 50's when we were all slim as we went outside and played and rode bikes and we walked a half mile down the lane to the bus. I raised my children to be thin, as I nursed them as babies, and then I took them to the pool to swim, go play soccer and to Martial Arts classes, because I wanted them to like exercise. - 8/22/2010   12:52:58 AM
  • 17
    I used to teach pre-school and use the same tactics I did with 3 & 4 year olds with my siblings and anyone who seems to turn their nose up and healthy eating options such as veggies. If you lead by example and talk about the food in a positive nature rather than making it a mundane task those around you will become interested in your enthusiasm and it will spark their interest in trying a new healthy food or giving it a second try. - 8/22/2010   12:38:46 AM
  • MTWYMAN1
    16
    We took three of our grandchildren for a week vacation. We bought lots of bottled water - no soda pop. They didn't even whine which surprised me as they consume lots of it at home. We cooked nutritious meals together - pasta salad made with chicken, cherry tomatoes, black olives, spinach - tossing all in light Italian dressing. We marinated fish and chicken then grilled and served with salads and fresh fruits and vegetables. We made dips using Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) with Watkins seasonings.
    The only fats used all week were avocados, nuts, olive oil and the fat in the meats: chicken and fish. They loved it. A few years ago I started researching on line how to eat very clean and basic. Gone are the chicken a la king recipes, casseroles, cream dishes, breaded food, chicken and dumplings that I learned to cook as a child. My new adventure has lowered our cholesterol, blood pressure, weight and we feel great. - 8/21/2010   11:30:22 PM
  • DREAMGIRL76
    15
    When I was a child we were always outdoors playing games, riding bike, flying kites, and the last thing we thought about was coming inside to eat. Our t.v. time was limited, we helped our parents outdoors, or grandparents when we visited with yard work, the garden. We were very active children, and did not have the luxury of all the fast food places. It was a rare occassion we would stop, and then when we did what a treat it was.
    In today's world it is all about convenience so it seems. Both parents work, when I grew up dad worked and mom worked (but at home). For things to really change our fast food places need to offer more nutrious menus, parents need to get back to the basics of fresh food preparation, and limit our children as well as ourselves to time in front of the computer, t.v. etc.
    We need to engage in play and work with our children and encourage them to participate in outdoor fun. We all have to make the connection and as parents we have to be the one's our children look up to. Setting good examples, and being a good role model is a start. Don't harp at our kids for being overweight but make it educational, and fun, get them involved in preparing healthy meals and snacks.
    Encourage sports and the arts in our schools as it is vital to our youth, and those activities can and will make a huge difference.
    As with my family we engage in lots of outdoor activities with her, limit her computer and t.v., playstation, and ds/gameboy time. We bike ride, go fishing, to the park, take walks on our city bike/walk path, she loves our family time. We discuss food and she helps in the preparation of meals. She and I talk about spark and I share what I am doing and she is reading food labels and learning about nutrition right along with me. I agree when someone here said we have to lead by example, and it takes a village! Well said! - 8/21/2010   10:28:12 PM
  • 14
    It really is up to the parents. If I sit around and play on my computer all day or watch movies, so will my daughter who is also homeschooled so she doesn't even get the little bit of PE still offered in Public/Private Schools.

    I promised myself when I started my journey a 2nd time in May 2010 that I would not give up for my daughter. I want her to grow up thin, healthy and confident not fat, unhealthy & self-concious.

    We went on a 1 hour bike ride today and we do lots of DVD workouts during the week. We weigh in once a week together and we motivate each other. It's really fantastic.

    I know she couldn't do this without me but I know too, that I cannot do this without her! - 8/21/2010   9:51:01 PM
  • TESS_O_LANDS
    13
    I sort of disliked the way your questions was addressed to "as a parent, grandparent or educator" ... what are the rest of us, not interested in our community, in our youth, in our world?

    It takes a village, we are all in this together and our youth are important to all of us.

    Anyway, I'm not any of these things, but on the question of what do I think it will take to change the obesity epidemic, my opinion is that the number one thing it will take is for adults to lead by example. Obesity is rampant among adults, that is the reason it is rampant among children.

    I love the posts here that talk about things they are doing in their families to live healthier lives. That is leading by example. ALL adults who are interested in the future and think the obesity of children is a detriment to that might take a look at their own lives and bodies and ask if they can do anything to change the example they are modeling for our children. - 8/21/2010   4:54:04 PM
  • VALPAT1
    12
    Good point that everyone is needed to contribute to turning around these statistics by teaching our young ones more healthy lifestyle patterns. My 3-year old granddaughter seemed to be getting attached to her stroller and not wanting to walk even short distances. So, I no longer take the stroller with me when I pick her up from school. Thankfully, we live in an area that has an excellent bus service which I use and is also pedestrian friendly. She needs a little encouragement sometimes but then she's happy to walk and even runs and skips along the way with me right alongside to ensure her safety. - 8/21/2010   4:52:53 PM
  • DEBJARMON
    11
    When my grandchildren visit me, they eat what I eat. 100 calorie snacks, fresh fruit, occasionally a nutty bar. They also do the treadmill (they think it's a game)! - 8/21/2010   3:28:12 PM
  • 10
    I think the emphasis has to be on being healthier, not on being thinner or smaller. The reality is that poor lifestyle habits will, eventually, catch up with anyone. Healthier foods are sometimes more expensive, but not necessarily. It is not as convenient to prepare meals as it us to stop at a fast food place. It is not as convenient to go to the weekly farmer's market as it is to go to a big supermarket. But excuses and blaming don't get anyone closer to health. - 8/21/2010   2:25:08 PM
  • 9
    At around 4 I discovered cookies and I never looked back. My mom couldn't keep me away from food. I had a hard childhood coupled with mental problems so I ballooned up and out. But, I tried to stay active. I played outside a lot, rode my bike, roller skated, played tag, swam, played sports even. But I couldn't lose the weight. I loved veggies and fruit and that still didn't help. Obesity isn't always the obvious problems. My daughter (who isn't actually mine) is over weight and we talk all the time about making good choices about food and drinks (water instead of soda or juice all the time) and playing on her scooter instead of watching cartoons. But my two boys that I had are both healthy and they play very physically and make good eating choices with only a few bad ones (which we do talk about). One thing that I do tell my kids is that if they eat a lot of bad food they will end up like me and have to visit the doctor a lot because they will be sick a lot. Another thing I do is have them exercise with me. Of course right now all I can do is about 30 minutes or so of Wii Fit at a time because my feet are so bad because of plantar fasciitis so we take turns and they love it. But it keeps them active and they see what happens if they don't make the right choices. - 8/21/2010   2:16:01 PM
  • 8
    At the age of 9, I became overweight. I was the only person in my family who was, and no one ever let me forget it. Eventually, I became obese and now I am morbidly obese. Yet, at the age of 40, I still do not have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. And my son, who is 18, has never been overweight. I am frustrated with the stigma people like me experience. We are told that we cause a burden to the health industry. We are warned that our children will suffer our overweight fate. This governmental proclamation is only going to make it more difficult for young people to overcome the false perceptions and expectations of society. Like the so-called War on Drugs, this, too, will not be taken seriously. When fruits and vegetables become as affordable as products laden with high fructose corn syrup, fat, and salt, when sports become more cooperative and less competitive, when the fashion industry begins to recognize and honor people of all sizes and shapes, we will see a real change in our children's weights and measurements. - 8/21/2010   2:02:52 PM
  • PWINCESSEMILY
    7
    What worries me most is when I see my aunty (and other parents) use food - especially sweet things - to bribe or reward her kids. Chocolate to make them behave. Hours of television to keep them quiet and out of her way.

    It makes me so sad. Because not only is my aunty, and parents like her, building really bad habits that will catch up with them at some point, but they are missing out on that precious family time too. - 8/21/2010   1:40:30 PM
  • 6
    I am a grandparent raising my grandson. He is just about to turn 1. I am trying to work into my lifestyle things that would help him be healthy. I am trying to loose weight, watch my portions, exercise, and incorporate activity into our lifestyle. He doesn't walk yet but he loves the stroller so we walk together. We walk to church on Sunday's and Wednesdays. I try to walk 30 minutes a day with him. Sometimes it is difficult to fit it in but I know that it has to be done. - 8/21/2010   1:21:51 PM
  • 5
    I have been out of school for 10 years, so I don't know if things have changed, but having healthier options for school lunches would be a BIG step in the right direction. In middle school, I ate a grilled cheese sandwich and fries for lunch...every day! In high school, it was a cheeseburger....and fries...and a full-sugar Pepsi. Somehow, I had the metabolism/activity to make up for it and was not overweight (ok, lets be honest, it'd be awesome- and maybe scary in a 'is this really healthy?' way - to be back to my high school weight). But a lot of children/teens are not as fortunate and/or active as I was, and such diets really do leave A LOT to be desired...the amount of grease is the kind of thing I wouldn't consider eating now, and there were no "redeeming qualities" to the meals either.
    I really do hope choices have gotten better for this generation - even if I had wanted to eat healthy back then, I'm not sure I would have been able to - and I certainly never learned the value of healthier foods until I found SP 3 years ago. If only nutrition was actually taught... - 8/21/2010   1:12:40 PM
  • SUGARSMOM2
    4
    when around my great grandchildren here it is easy to get them ourside to run with the dog and play ball . football or baseball . or just make it a race to the top of our hill and see who gets there first . we have seven ac. of ground and they run the grounds like the kids that they are . maybe i should run with them ? might make a smaller me !!! oh well next time . maybe ... no i have to cook . but then it could be fast food . nay that wouldnt work . - 8/21/2010   12:28:55 PM
  • 3
    I am a school librarian, and thanks for this reminder of National Childhood Obesity month! School starts next week and I plan to put Spark Teen on my library web links. I will also create a display of some of the books, magazines, and other resources we have on healthy eating and fitness. It's tricky with teens, but I will emphasize health instead of appearance:-) - 8/21/2010   11:49:07 AM
  • 2
    We encourage a healthy lifestyle by being active with our kids and explaining directly that we value being healthy by being active, making good food choices and respecting our bodies, which includes getting enough sleep.

    We encourage them to find a sport they like to play and we help them learn the skills it takes to play it as well as cheering them on - or coaching them in some cases (usually its mom who takes on the role of coach). We let them know in those settings that we don't care if they're scoring or getting the best times, as long as they are having fun and making friends as well as doing their best and learning some new skills along the way.

    On the teams, we encourage healthy foods post-game too because we believe that "treats" can be healthy - even fruit kebabs are just fruit, but kicked up a notch. This is an area we've met with much controversy though as other parents may not see this as a chance to help their kids learn healthy food choices. We've had parents defend their child's right to donuts and Gatorade after games while shunning a healthier option. In those situations, we talk to our children about moderation and help them understand that if they make these food choices, then it means that they have to balance it out with healthier ones at a later time, so they should make sure that's the food choice they want to make and in quantities that are appropriate, not unlimited.

    We include our kids in food preparation and meal planning. We get cookbooks that are written for them (from the library or a few that are purchased) and then help them make the items they want or talk about ways to modify the ones that are not as healthy.

    We play tag with them. We include them on walks or family bike rides. We've even trained for 5Ks as a family. Being a role model for fitness is one of the best ways of teaching it and we walk the talk.

    Less food commercials targeted at kids may help break the childhood obesity epidemic. Providing safe places for them to move and encouraging words when they are active can help too. Not giving them food to quiet them down or teaching them the habit of grazing all day would be helpful from the early years on.

    Helping them learn to love water and drink sufficient milk for their growing bodies would be great, instead of having so many sugary drinks as part of their regular meal and snack intakes.

    Giving them attention and one on one time (without electronics) so they feel worthy is another big step in the right direction. Some kids do turn to food for comfort if they're not getting what they need to feel emotionally satisfied.


    - 8/21/2010   11:20:14 AM
  • 1
    I've started to play with my kids outside and we eat almost all freshly made food. We don't have a lot of packaged food available here, but we don't purchase what is here or bring it in the house. If we have treats, they are the exception and not the rule. We also talk about playing and eating fruits and vegetables to be healthy and feel good. - 8/21/2010   10:46:47 AM

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