Get Kids Moving by Setting a Good Example

Posted: Jun 10 in Bounce by

According to the American Heart Association, one in three children and adolescents are obese. With more than half of adults facing obesity or being overweight, it’s not surprising that childhood obesity is on the rise. How can you help prevent or treat childhood obesity in your own home?

Set a Good Example

Experts agree that children are imitators and will often mimic the eating behaviors they see in their parents and caregivers. In addition, most children eat and learn about the foods that are offered to them by their parents. Creating healthy eating habits in children, then, starts with parents who practice healthy eating behaviors. It’s also important to show your children that you expect them to follow your example. Present them whole, healthy foods to eat instead of processed, high-calorie “kid foods” like macaroni and cheese or processed chicken nuggets.

Get Kids Moving

Just as physical activity is important to maintaining good health and weight in adults, children need regular exercise to stay fit. However, it’s been reported that nearly 23% of children participate in no free-time physical activity at all. A survey of children between 8 and 18 years old showed that they spent an average of almost four hours per day watching TV, over an hour using the computer, and 49 minutes playing video games.

Limiting screen time, or time spent in front of a TV or computer system, can encourage your children to find more active ways to spend their time. You might also suggest that the entire family take regular walks, play outside together, or go for a bike ride around the neighborhood. Just as modeling healthy eating behaviors is important, showing your children how to have an active lifestyle can be very effective.

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