Home Home Visiting Blog

Home Visiting Blog

Sep 07 2018

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Did you know that one in every five children in America is considered obese? Obesity rates are climbing in both infants and toddlers, preventing them from having a healthy start in life. National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month provides an opportunity for both home visitors and parents to learn more about combating this serious health issue in children.

Children with obesity are at risk for health conditions such as heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea, joint problems, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are also more likely to “suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.” Children who suffer from obesity are also more likely to become obese adults, which can lead to more health problems down the road.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple, easy fix for obesity. Childhood obesity is influenced by many different factors, some of which can be controlled and some that cannot. While you cannot control genetics, you can establish healthy routines early to ensure your children have a strong foundation to reduce the risks of childhood obesity.

As a parent, you can help your child practice healthy habits to maintain an appropriate weight as well as a good relationship with food.

  • Encourage your child to be active and participate in active games, sports, or physical activities together. 
  • Establish a bedtime routine to ensure your child gets a full 8-9 hours of sleep every night. 
  • Provide plenty of easy-to-eat (and easy to grab!) snacks like fruits and vegetables instead of heavily-processed snacks. 
  • Replace sugary sodas and juices with water. 
  • And above all, make sure you are following the same rules you expect your child to follow. 
You are your child’s number one role model! If you have a healthy relationship and balance with food, it will help your child learn to do the same.

We forget sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday life how simple it can be to set a good example for our children. This past week, my husband and I decided to set aside a night and cook together as a family. We could have easily gone out for dinner or picked up some greasy fast food or takeout, but we decided to stay in and spend an extra thirty minutes in the kitchen. We had the best time catching up! Don't forget that family dinnertime can also be family connection time! I not only got to cook with my daughter and husband, but I got to really connect with them. You don't have to be the perfect parent- you just have to be present!

Click HERE for a link to some easy snacks for you and your kids!

Click HERE for a link to some fun activities to stay active and healthy!

As a home visitor, there are plenty of things you can do during a home visit to encourage families to adopt healthy habits to reduce the risks of childhood obesity! Read about those in our previous blog post here!

Recent Posts

Latest Tweets