3 Simple Ways To Keep Your Child Healthy

September is Childhood Obesity Month and Prevention is key!

1/3rd of our children age 2 through 19 are overweight or obese and 1 in 5 are considered obese. Excess weight in our children is not a cosmetic problem but a health problem associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and joint problems among others, not to mention bullying and social stigma.  

In children, like adults, preventing weight gain is much easier than losing weight.

Here are some tips:

1.) Families that eat together stay lean together!

Studies have shown that families that sit down to eat together are less likely to be obese than children who do not sit down for family meals. Make dinner a time to relax and regroup. Use the opportunity to teach children about healthy portion sizes, incorporating veggies on the plate and mindful eating habits like slowing down, tasting and chewing their food.

2.) Limit screen time!

The National Institute of Health reports the average child spends 5 to 7 hours in front of a screen per day!! Excessive use of screens means more time being sedentary instead of being active. It is also time when kids (and adults) habitually snack- not to mention all the food and snack commercials kids are inundated with.  Consider limiting screen time during the week and setting a timer to remind kids when their screen time is done.

3.) Hold the Juice!

All juice being considered healthy is a myth! Juice contains almost the same amount of sugar as a can of soda, over 30 grams!  In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics strengthened their recommendations against any fruit juice in all children under age 1 and modified juice consumption in older children. Give children the whole fruit, that way they benefit from fiber and other nutrients instead of getting just the sugar.

Want more…hear what Dr. Youdim had to say this week on Good DAY LA

Author
Dr. Adrienne Youdim

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