Inspiring a Generation of Kids to Be Healthy!
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and we want to bring awareness and inspiration, so that we can provide resources on how we can inspire kids. To begin, childhood obesity includes many more factors than just their day to day diet. Factors that can affect their health include stressful events, genetics, community design and sleep. Before we go over opportunities for inspiring our children, I want to provide the statistics for where the United States stands right now in regards to childhood obesity rates.
- Since 1980, obesity rates among teens, ages 12 to 19, have quadrupled, from 5% to 20.6%.
- In the U.S., childhood obesity alone is estimated to cost $14 billion annually in direct health expenses.
Recent studies show that if a child is obese in preschool, the likelihood that they are going to remain obese into adulthood is very high. Research shows that not only are more than half of the current childhood population going to be obese by 35, but an obese 2-year-old has only a one in four chance of not being obese at age 35. It’s important to be aware of the high risk of childhood obesity so that we can start implementing preventative actions and help reverse unhealthy habits that can develop into their adulthood. What seems like innocent baby fat, will actually be more dangerous than it appears and can sometimes be an underlying sign of future obesity. Wherever we are in our life we all can start to implement new habits and become the role model for our children.
The future health of our children is declining and we need you to be the role model to inspire and provide the tools they need to achieve their goals and be unstoppable!
There are many factors that limit access to healthier options for our kids, so we want to give you some opportunities that you can act on today!
- Fostering more focus with your child, like reading or playing together which will help children learn focus, language and social skills. It would be great to take them out for an outdoor exploration to learn about the area you live in, and together trying to identify different bugs, birds or plants.
- Balancing blood sugar is crucial. The more stable their energy is, the better their ability will be to focus and stay level. Try combining healthy fats with a protein and a natural carbohydrate. Refer here for some great kid meal ideas.
- Keep their food and plate colorful like a rainbow, try cooking together and creating characters or fun shapes that even you couldn’t resist eating! Try sneaking in some veggies into a smoothie for them.
- Use a child size plate so that they don’t get large adult portion size meals and ensure they have a mid-morning and afternoon snack but keep an eye on snacking when they are bored.
- Play time – This doesn’t mean they have to be a star athlete, even getting the family to turn on some music and create dance-time in the living room or going on an evening adventure walk has huge benefits. We are creatures of adventure and excitement, so make movement something your child gets excited about! Treasure hunts, hiking, and community sports can help create great friendships and support a healthy lifestyle. For other great ideas for getting more play time in click here.
Remember to always be loving and positive and show your support through making healthy choices and having energy; try not to make the focus with a goal of weight loss. Remember that kids want to be loved and have high energy. Leading by example is going to be the best way to influence our kids!
We are starting a 6 week PHD SuperKids free nutrition education and behavioral program to better their health and wellness!
*Only available at specific locations. For children ages 7-12. Call for more information.
Fact: An obese 2-year-old is more likely to be obese at 35 than a 19-year-old who is overweight but not obese.
Awareness Challenge this week: What action do you want to start taking to inspire your children?
We’ll resume posting our blogs in October, in the meantime take up some awareness challenges from the previous blogs!
In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about living a healthier lifestyle, reach out to us for our professional guidance and support. Give us a call!
By: Samantha Schmidbauer
Blog Photo Credit: YMCA
Cover Photo Credit: COPrevent