Childhood Obesity and Prevention

 

     A child that starts off overweight at a young age will have a difficult time staying healthy and  avoiding criticism from their peers.  Kids can be mean and will exclude children that have trouble being as athletic or as active as themselves.   This can create emotional problems the rest of their life.  A child's  parents  will be the major factor in preventing life long health issues.     The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:

1. Families need to focus on creating a home environment that encourages healthy choices and regularly communicates with their doctors to understand the family members body weight percentiles and the child's environment.

2. Eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day.  Limit the salty snack foods.

         How about cutting up fruit into slices and placing a topping on them .  Peanut butter on celery is a better option than a bag of chips.

         Apple slices or cantelope slices with a thin line of chocolate syrup on top makes an attractive fruit serving.   Be Creative!

3. Children need at least 1 hour of physical activity a day.   ( This does not have to be all within a 60 minute time frame.)

4.  Limit your child's total Computer and TV time to less than 2 hours per day.

5. Limit the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages to one per day.  Give you kids water the rest of the time. 

6.  Energy drinks and gatorade were not designed  for kids. They were created for athletes and to be taken in moderation.

7. Eat breakfast daily and regularly eat family meals together so you know what your kids  are eating.

8. Limit fast food, take out and eating out.   These choices  are not as healthy as eating at home.

9. Prepare food at home as a family.   Let your kids help you cook, they will be more likely to eat what they helped make.

10. Provide  a fiber rich diet and a calcium rich diet for your children.

11. Breastfeed exclusively until 6 months and maintenance of breast feeding after the introduction of solid food until about 12 months of age.

12. Switch your child to low fat dairy products.