September is National Childhood Obesity month. Did you know that children who struggle with obesity are more likely to be obese as adults? (CDC) Teaching your child early in life about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity can help them grow into healthy adults. Healthy eating and physical activity are habits that can help your child live a healthier lifestyle and avoid illnesses such as diabetes. Help your child make healthy habits for life by helping them to do the following:
EAT fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables have vitamins that are needed for growing children. At meal time, make your child’s plate colorful. “Together, plan a meal that includes at least three different colors, like red peppers, black beans, and brown rice” (PBS). During your family meal, you can call out colors for your child to munch on as a fun family game.
PLAY at least 60 minutes per day.
Children need about 60 minutes PLAY time every day. Consider breaking up this time into smaller time pieces throughout the day. Before dinner and after dinner your family could take a 15 minute walk around your neighborhood. Right before bed, you could have a groovy 30 minute dance session.
For more information on helping your child make healthy habits, take a look at former First Lady Michelle Obama as she visits Sesame Street to talk about eating right, exercising regularly and being a healthy and positive role model for children.