1. Get Active
Children need to be active for at least one hour every day. Physical activity does not have to be strenuous to be beneficial to a child. Doing simple things such as taking a walk, riding a bike, or playing catch with Mom or Dad all count as exercise.
Physical activity burns calories; sitting in front of a computer screen does not. While playing for a short time on the computer is alright, it should not take the place of a child using his imagination out of doors. Getting outside to explore and play is what keeps us healthy!
2. Eat Healthy
Eating healthy involves choosing foods that are low in calories, sugar, and fat. If children are eating foods filled with these three things, they are at a high risk of becoming obese. Meals and snacks should consist of healthy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Portion sizes should be controlled when eating. Children do not need second helpings on food and can only fit a small amount in their stomach at a time. Be a good role model for your children and limit the unhealthy snacks that you consume.
3. Get Involved
Work with the school to help spread the message about how important physical activity, eating healthy, and knowledge about childhood obesity is. Create flyers, sponsor school folders, or hold an after school club to help inform both students and parents of the dangers of being obese.
4. Make Lifestyle Changes
Exercising and eating healthy should not be temporary fixes to lose a few pounds. Even after weight is lost, the healthy choices should continue into a healthy lifestyle. If children are started young knowing the importance of exercise and eating healthy, they will forever make a healthy lifestyle. Parents must be good role models for a healthy lifestyle if they expect their children to do the same.
5. Family Fun
A child who is affected by childhood obesity should not be set apart from the entire family. If even one person in the family is trying to be healthier, the rest of the family members should join in. Make a daily family time to take part in some sort of physical activity together. Eat dinner together every night, and have it contain many vegetables and whole grains.
Before you know it, your family will be healthier and eating healthy and exercising daily will seem like second nature.