Monday, September 23, 2013

September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month!

How tempting it is to have Cheeseburger Day in the same month as National Childhood Obesity Month? While it is ok to allow your children special occasion treats periodically (my 5 year old is on a 2 sweet per day limit when he asks for too much junk in one day), making sure your child also balances their diet with healthy fruits and vegetables is very important.  Too often I think we as parents look back on our childhood, and our waistline, saying your kids won't be able to eat what they want when they want when they grow older and their metabolism slows down so let's just allow them to eat all the junk food they want now before it's too late. The difference between most of our upbringings compared to our children's is we had lots of play time outside. So many parents discuss how they were able to play outside until the street lights came on. Nowadays - parents can't let their kids sit on front steps without full supervision.

This is why it is so important to make sure your kids are getting enough physical activity everyday! When they come home, plan a few minutes between dinner and homework to sneak in a few turns of the jump rope or play a little catch or see who can keep the hola hoop going the longest. These are even fun activities you can participate with the kids while being in doors. While you may not squeeze the full 30 minutes of recommended active time at this particular moment, it will create a new habit of being active in your home instead of just plopping in front of the television or playing video games. If you participate with your child, imagine the added benefits your own body will receive!

Visit the National Institute of Health's We Can!  website for more information on how to help keep your kids healthy and active.

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