Growing Healthy Kids & Stopping Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity is on the rise. More than 23 million children are obese or overweight. We all know it. We all see it. But what can be done about it? I believe it all starts at home. We, as parents, have the ultimate control over the majority of food that goes into our kids’ bodies. Sure there are times they’re at school or a friend’s house where we can’t control what they choose or what’s given to them, but we can teach them to make good choices most of the time so they can enjoy an occasional splurge. I saw this amazing (yet shocking) infographic on Anytime Fitness’ website last week, and knew I had to write a post about it. 7.5 HOURS of screen time a day?!?!? WOW. But between TV, computers, games, iPads, cell phones, and texting…it adds up!
3 Tips on Growing Healthy Kids:
1) Stop being in such a gosh darn hurry.
Instead of rushing to get to the playground in a stroller or wagon, let your child actually run/walk alongside you. Yes, it will be slow. Yes, you may wish you could just scoop them up to get there faster. BUT, you are building such valuable skills, endurance, and a sense of accomplishment. Let the journey BE the activity instead of just rushing to a destination. I was so surprised that Babycakes was able AND EXCITED to jog/walk on her own…she went three quarters of a mile with a smile on her face the entire time!! We jogged to benches, tree bark to touch, doggies to pet, leaves to jump in, and swings to swing on.
2) Be an example.
The happy healthy life is taught. Your actions speak a lot louder than any words you might say. It’s hard to tell your child not to drink soda if you’re downing it yourself. How you spend your time influences how they will spend theirs. Children are imitators. Give them something worth imitating!
3) Embrace the mess.
Healthy food can be messy. Let them eat it anyway. Babycakes loves grabbing homegrown tomatoes out of the garden and eating them like apples. Am I going to squelch that desire over a few drips of juice? NO.
Other good reads:
Our Words Matter+ My Pretty Body
Quick & Easy Toddler Meals
Our New Normal