The good news is that obesity is for the most part preventible. According to WHO the fundamental reasons behind childhood obesity are - a trend toward decreased level of physical activIty combined with an increased consumption of foods that are high in fat and sugar, and low in the essential vitamins and minerals.
How Much Physical Exercise Should Your Children Do?
The Public Health Agency of Canada suggests children aged 5-11 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. But more is even better!
Tips to Get your Kids and You Active
- Replace computer and TV time with something active
- Walk or bike ride to work and school
- Sign your kids up for soccer, hockey, dance, figure skating....
- Do physical activities as a family, plan a hike or a walk in a nearby park
- Walk the dog together
- Use the stairs at public venues
- Ask the kids to help rake the leaves, shovel snow or carry the groceries
Being active is a great first step however eating clean combined with physical activity is the only way to get kids healthy.
Try to Develop Clean Eating Habits
- Avoid skipping meals and make sure to eat breakfast
- Portion control; try to stick to reasonable portion sizes
- Choose lean protein from poultry, fish, red meats and legumes
- Eat whole grains not refined over processed or chemically charged foods such as cold cuts
- Eat fresh fruits and veggies; Canada food guide suggests children between the ages of 5-13 eat from 5-6 fruits and vegetables a day
- Limit soft drinks, sport drinks,fruit drinks punches and increase your water intake
- Eat healthy fats every day from nuts, seeds, avocados, and grains
Our kids didn't do this to themselves. They don't decide the sugar content in soda or the advertising content of a television show. Kids don't choose what's served to them for lunch at school, and shouldn't be deciding what's served to them for dinner at home. And they don't decide whether there's time in the day or room in the budget to learn about healthy eating or to spend time playing outside – Childhood Obesity Summit, 4/9/2010
Photograph A. Moore (MooreALX)
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