The first step is getting outside and becoming active. Children need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day to maintain a healthy weight and prevent many chronic diseases. Western Baptist has many resources to help families fight childhood obesity.
Eatright.org also offers a few easy suggestions:
- Take a walk after a family meal.
- Pick an activity that requires movement, like bowling or miniature golf, instead of watching TV.
- Plant a garden.
- Give children toys that encourage activity, such as kites, Frisbees and jump ropes.
Once you become active, the next step is picking the right foods.
Children need to drink at least six 8-ounce cups of water a day, plus another 8 ounces for every half hour of activity. Sports drinks can increase the fluid intake of children who don’t drink enough water.
Don’t skip breakfast. Serve whole-grain cereals or fruit, like bananas, blueberries or raisins. Other snack ideas include trail mix, fruits or sliced vegetables, crackers and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Send us your health and nutrition questions, and our team of dietitians will answer them each Thursday. Check here next week for more tips and answers to your questions.