In the U.S., approximately 7 in 10 adults and 1 in 3 children are overweight or have obesity. You can help your whole family maintain a healthy weight by balancing good, nutritious eating foods with physical activity. The earlier you start introducing fresh, non-processed foods to your children, the better they are as you are assisting them in creating healthy eating habits that will last for a lifetime.
Health Problems Associated with Being Overweight:
- Low-self esteem
- Being bullied
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Anxiety and stress
- Be more physically active as a family: Go on walks, bicycle rides, visit skating rinks, and have fun at your local pool with family swim races.
- Let your children take turns choosing family activities that include exercise.
- Limit screen time, which includes all computers, screen readers, TVs, smart watches, video games and smart phones. And, no TVs in your child’s room.
- Make sure your child is getting enough sleep each night as kids who do not are at higher risk of being overweight or obese.
Set Up Healthy Eating Habits
- Eat as a family as much as possible and do not cook multiple meals to compensate for “picky” eaters.
- Plan healthy meals with as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Eliminate, or include less, foods and drinks with added sugars, that are high in sodium or carbs, and that are processed.
- Serve reasonably sized portions and limit seconds to only fruits or vegetables.
- Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
- Let your children help plan meals, shop for foods or work in a garden with you, and prepare meals.
- Provide a healthy breakfast with a protein to start the day and offer healthy snacks to help control hunger between meals.
What Should You Do If Your Child Is Overweight?
If you have concerns about your child’s weight, make an appointment to visit your pediatrician. When you make the appointment, share then that you are specifically concerned about your child’s weight so that the doctor can be sensitive about your concerns in front of your child.
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Healthy Children and Families
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Helping Your Child Who is Overweight
Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions your family will make. You can begin your search by calling CCRI’s Child Care Search at 704.348.2181 or visiting www.findchildcarenc.com to let trusted experts help you.