by Alice Shaffer
September is National Childhood Obesity Month. Childhood Obesity has become more and more an issue as the months go by. Childhood obesity is now considered an epidemic with more than 23 million children and teenagers who are overweight or obese in the United States. What this means is that nearly one third of the 23 million children affected have greater health risks then they did decades ago. This epidemic needs to be addressed. This is why September has been declared the first month in history to bring attention Children Obesity. As professional nannies, parents, grandparents, daycare workers and families we can work together to making our children healthier as well as ourselves.
Rep. Fudge’s Statement on Declaring September Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
The biggest question is where does one begin in attacking this epidemic. Education is where everything starts. I hope that some of the following links help address some questions you may have.
- Estimated Calorie Requirements (ages 2 and up)
- Portion Distortion and Serving Size
- Wallet Sized Serving Size Card
- How to understand and use nutrition fact labels
- Portion Distortion: How Food Servings Have changed in 20 years
- Healthier Eating While Saving Money
- Ideas to Help Kids Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Children’s Snacks: 10 tips for Healthier Snacking from the Mayo Clinic
- Recipes for Kids: Hands on Teaching for Healthier Meals
- About BMI in Children and Teens
- Preventing Obesity in Children
- Healthier Kids, Brighter Futures
I asked several people how they could help battle Childhood Obesity and this is what they had to say:
- Family walks are great on so many levels!
- Teaching your kids that food is fuel, not a reward helps prevent emotional eating. I started in infancy, offering healthy food options. My sons favorite food was salmon when he was 9 months old. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Frozen peas are a great finger snack for toddlers. I always carried a baggie of them in the diaper bag for a hot summer day treat. Frozen peas taste like frozen. I now add fresh spinach leaves and silken tofu to my kids berry smoothies for healthy protein and some extra veg. We avoid most processed foods too.
I was an emotional eater and never want my kids to go through being overweight, but I also don’t want them to be obsessed with food. We want them to be able to make those healthy choices on their own as they grow up.
- Kids can only eat what you feed them
- First small changes over time add up. It is easier to maintain for a longer time, life. Secondly don’t change to many things at once. Healthy habits need to replace the not so desirable habits. Thirdly lead by example, kids tend to hear our actions more clearly. Making healthy choices ourselves shows them we aren’t really trying to deprive them. Lastly moderation is a good rule to follow.
- Eating healthy, together, is very important. Too many parents feed their children a meal and don’t sit and eat with them out of convenience. Also, making one meal for the kid and different one for yourself sets a bad precedence! I also find it much easier to get my child to eat something if he has participated in purchasing it and in prepping/cooking the meal. Dessert is not an every meal or even an every day thing. Fruit and yogurt are our after dinner treats. And the most important rule for ME and my weight issues is…I don’t buy junk food for the house. If I want it that bad, I have to go out to get it!
- Two words – Wii Fit.
- The importance of quality outside play!! too many kids are over structured and dont have time to be kids and are stressed out way early in life. To blame childhood obesity on video games is pure hogwash…..society as a whole has made our youth obese…. children aren’t safe to play outside like we used to when we were kids and parents are way too busy to spend time outdoors with their kids. And everyone is soo structured.. Its all the time in the cars running from activity to activity and then being so busy always eating on the go… Its really important to teach them an active lifestyle. whatever happened to the days where the kids were all in the streets playing basketball and baseball.. kids had to ride bike tot he store for mom… those days are long gone.. teaching children that everything is ok in moderation…