New Year’s Goal: A Fun and Healthy 2014 for Your Family
How to make better nutrition and an active lifestyle a priority for the whole family in 2014.
In the New Year, recommitting to a healthy mind and body are on a lot of minds. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to make better nutrition and daily physical activity a goal for the entire family. As obesity rates are on the rise, it’s never been more important for parents to emphasize healthy dietary and lifestyle practices in their lives and that of their children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some alarming statistics have emerged in the past few years:
- In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
- Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70 percent of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Proper nutrition and daily physical activity are incredibly important because they promote development of the mind and body in children. The good news is it is easier than ever to help your family accomplish a healthier lifestyle and insure your children are on the right path to leading an active and happy life. Some ways to improve your family’s lifestyle include:
- Begin to gradually cut out sodas and juices with excess sugar until you limit or eliminate them completely.
- Make sure your kids eat a healthy breakfast each morning to improve attention and general mood.
- Talk about healthy foods with your kids and encourage them to help you cook and eat new things each month.
- Help your kids build strong bones and muscles by encouraging them to get 60 minutes of active time each day either indoors or out by doing things such as participating in a Hula-Hoop™ contest, jumping rope, dancing or playing tag.
Lastly, be sure that time spent at school also has a beneficial influence on your kids. According to the CDC, “schools should ensure that only nutritious and appealing foods and beverages are provided in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars, school stores, and other venues that offer food and beverages to students. In addition, nutrition education should be part of a comprehensive school health education curriculum.” If your school does not have these policies in place, talk to other parents and the school administration to start a conversation about adopting these nutritious offerings.
For more information, go to the CDC’s feature page Healthy Living Tips for You and Your Child to learn more.