September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity is on the rise with nearly 1 in 5 children overweight in the United States. Since children are always growing, determining if your child is obese should be assessed by a medical professional, not a parent. A physician can then determine the best action plan for your child going forward.
To prevent obesity in your child, follow these tips to keep your little one in shape and healthy.
Parents and caregivers can start by promoting a healthy lifestyle for their child. Provide healthy snacks and meals, daily activity, and continued education on nutrition. Eating healthy is key for growing bodies to get the proper nutrients they need. Daily physical activity helps with health risks and weight management. And nutrition education helps young children become aware of healthy habits early on in life.
The focus should be on overall health, not a certain weight goal. This way children will have a more positive attitude toward their body without the emphasis on their weight and eating habits.
Do not single out an overweight child. Parents should focus on the whole family, and work towards change together to make it easier.
Establish specific times during the day for snacks and meals. With specific mealtimes, children won’t overeat, and everyone can eat together as a family.
Plan portions ahead of time.
Limit fats and sweets.
Discourage from eating in front of the TV. Eating in front of a TV makes it difficult to focus on how full your child is getting and can lead to overeating.
Involve your child in planning, shopping, and preparing meals. This can teach children about proper nutrition.
Limit the amount of time children play videogames, watch TV, on their phone, or play on the computer daily. This will help increase physical activity.
Encourage physical activity as a family. Participate in walks, bike hides, hikes, and active games together. Have your child play on sports teams or play outside with friends to increase socialization for their mental health.
Make sure your child is getting enough sleep every night. Sleep helps with energy and focus.
To schedule a physical for your child, please call us at (704) 792-2242