Helping your Child be Healthy, Strong and Active

There’s plenty of debate about what contributes to childhood obesity:  too much fast food and soda; lackluster school lunch choices; even too much advertising on television.  And yes, we believe they play a role in influencing poor health choices.

But bottom line:  parents are always the first and best line of defense against unhealthy weight and obesity in their children.  Parents buy the groceries that stock the pantry and fridge; parents pack the school lunches; parents drive their kids to the fast food joint.

In the end, the blame game is pointless.  Action is what matters.  Here are concrete tips to help your child get or maintain a healthy weight for their age and height.

1. Allow your kids a choice in what healthy snacks they can eat.  Don’t let them choose between potato chips or Doritos.  Rather, let them choose between strawberries and blueberries, grapes or an apple.

2. Kids learn by example.  Don’t expect your kids to incorporate healthy options into their diets if you are unwilling to do so.

3. Plan your meals a few days in advance, and stock healthy options that can be grabbed when time is short.  If fast food is your only option, educate yourself on the healthiest choices (they may surprise you!).

4. Take your kids to the store with you and let them choose the veggies and fruits that they like.  If they choose something you’ve never cooked, take to the internet!  A great resource is Allrecipes.com; you input your ingredients and the site generates the top recipes using those ingredients.  Plus, you reduce wasted food and money!

4.  Limit TV/video game time and increase physical exercise.  Make a game out of it:  play iSpy on a neighborhood walk; challenge them to a pick-up game of basketball; ride a bike.

If you feel like you’ve tried these tips and a million others, but nothing seems to help, call us at 801- 268-7479 to consult with our dietitian who can help you get your family back on track to promote healthy eating and lifestyles.

 

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