Monday, September 9, 2013

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
It might seem like a silly thing to name a month after this.
Maybe "Nutrition Education for Kids Month" would be better?

Childhood obesity is a subject that I have always been interested in.
I'm not sure why-no one in my family struggled with it-but it is a major reason why I am studying Nutrition and Dietetics. It is amazing what nutrition education can do for the future of our country.

What can we do?
1. Encourage exercise and movement
60 minutes a day is recommended-and it can be anything, as long as you are moving! Playing on the playground, sports, riding a name it!

2. Encourage fruits and vegetables
It's easier to get a kid to stop saying they are hungry by giving them sweets and junk food as a snack. I know this because I was mostly raised on TastyKakes. We need to be teaching our kids that food should be colorful and fun! Eating at least five colors of fruits and vegetables a day benefits the body in countless ways. More info here.
3. Be an example
Kids echo what their parents, role models and peers do. If we are teaching health, we need to live it also! If a change is being made in a child's diet, it should be made house-wide. This will make healthier kids, parents and families in general. 
Starting later this month I am going to be working with an after-school program to get kids outside exercising. I am excited about the opportunity to combine fitness and education in one setting!

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