Help your Kids Stay Fit, Trim and Healthy

Are you helping your child maintain a healthy weight?

We all want the best for our children.  We want to give them whatever we can to enhance their lives

Childhood Obesity

Picture by Akiradesigns

and help them have enjoyable childhoods.  We do what we can to keep them in nice clothes and get them the latest toys and gadgets that their friends have.  We encourage and help them with their education.  We try to guide and direct them to make good decisions.  However, sometimes we do not do all that we can or should do to ensure that they are developing healthy eating habits with regular exercise such that they can maintain a healthy weight.


 

 

Serious long-term impacts of childhood obesity

Recent studies show that although childhood obesity appears to have leveled off during the past couple years, there are still roughly one-third (1/3) of children between the ages of 6 and 18 who are obese based on their waist size. 1  This is an alarming statistic and one with many long-term consequences:

  • Recent studies show that even excess baby fat can be linked to health issues such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory ailments and diabetes in later life. 2
  • In addition, obesity increases the risks for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and certain types of cancer. 3
  • Children who are overweight are significantly more likely to be obese as adults.
  • Children who suffer from obesity tend to be ostracized which can have significant and lasting impacts upon their self-esteem.

 

 

How you can help your children

Here are a few ways in which you can help your children get in shape and maintain a healthy weight:

  • Reduce the sugar and fat in their diets

* Fewer processed foods
* Fewer deep-fried, fast foods
* Cut out the soda pop and drink more water (this single change can have a significant impact)
* More fresh fruit and vegetables (in place of high fat snacks like chips)
* More whole-wheat and whole grain breads.
  • Build regular exercise into their schedules

* Find activities that your kids enjoy that will get them off of the couch
* Biking, hiking, walking, soccer, volleyball, etc. are all great activities
* Prevent your kids from spending extended periods of time in front of the tv/computer
  • Limit their time doing sedentary activities

* Set limits on the amount of time your kids spend on the computer, cell phone, video games or television.
* Make exercise / activity a prerequisite to these sedentary activities.
* If your child is into video games, consider getting some activity games like DDR, Kinect for Xbox or Wii games
  • Consider enrolling them in a “fitness” camp

* Bible camps and sports camps are generally great for encouraging fun summer activity
* There are also specialized camps to help kids lose weight and learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyles 4
  • Promote good sleep habits

* Children need more sleep than adults (at least 8 hours per night)
* Promoting early, regular bedtimes helps children feel more alert and active during the day
* Activity during the day and early wake-up time is key to helping them get to sleep at night
* Have your children avoid eating a lot in the evening before bed
  • Lead by  example

* As with anything, we can more effectively teach what we, ourselves, put into practice.
* Engage your kids in fun, active activities like family walks or bike rides, volleyball, tennis, beanbag toss, exercise videos, etc.
* Practice healthy eating habits (you may want to read Eat Healthy this Summer)

 

 

 A Worthy Endeavor

The fact that you are reading this article tells me that youhealthy activities care deeply about your children.  You already do so much to provide for their safety and their needs.  Helping them develop healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle may seem like an overwhelming challenge; however, it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

Even small changes, like drinking water with meals instead of high-fructose juices or sodas or setting aside 30 minutes a day for some form of exercise can make a huge difference.  By being deliberate and intentional in your efforts to engage your children in these activities can bring you even closer together.  The time that you invest now will pay dividends long into the future.

Don’t just take it from me, take it from First Lady Michelle Obama who stated in a recent interview pertaining to her campaign against childhood obesity, “nutrition and exercise impacts our children’s ability to focus and succeed both in school and in life.” 5


 

So, be encouraged and excited about engaging your children in developing healthier eating habits and more active lifestyles.  It shouldn’t be a laborious task — it can be a fun challenge that you and your entire family embark upon together.

 

To your health and happiness!

-Patrick @ Family Staples

 

Patrick

About Patrick

Single father of five wonderful children. Left the hectic corporate world to start my own online business to allow me the flexibility to spend more time with my kids, while encouraging other parents to do the same: making the most of their time with their children during their formative years. For more details, go to: http://familystaples.com/about-me.

Comments

Help your Kids Stay Fit, Trim and Healthy — 23 Comments

    • Kevin,
      Thank you for your feedback…I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I agree with you that much of this information is, if one stops to think about it, common sense. However, sometimes I think that parents get so busy that this is an area we may overlook or not pay enough attention to, so it’s good to be reminded.
      Please visit again soon,
      Patrick

  1. My kids are all grown up and have kids of their own. Where were you when I was raising my kids. LOL Great insight into raising Kids Thank you.
    Bill

    • Bill,
      Thanks for reading my article and providing feedback. Though it may not be too relevant to you at this time with your children being adults, perhaps pass this along to your kids for the benefit of your grandkids :). As Kevin stated, much of this information is common sense, but it helps to be reminded as our kids grow up so fast and this is an area we may not pay enough attention to.
      Please visit again soon,
      Patrick

  2. Great information here Patrick, I found it very easy to follow and terrific guidelines for maintaining a healthy weight in Children (even me)!

    A well laid out post that gave me food for thought!

    Russ

    • Russ,
      I really appreciate your feedback and am glad that you enjoyed the post. You’re right that these guidelines are relevant for us (adults) too.
      Regards,
      Patrick

  3. very good advice and support for parents to help keep their children healthy and fit, technology is a great thing but it also keeps children from being outdoors enjoying the fresh air and activities

    • Katie,
      Thank you for your feedback. I agree with you…there are many benefits to technology, but we should moderate and monitor our children’s use of it. E.g., my 8-year old was asking if he could bring his Nintendo 3ds camping and I explained to him that we would have plenty of other fun activities so he should not be distracted from enjoying this outdoor experience. He was actually quite accepting of my explanation and didn’t put up a fuss, which I was happy about.
      Please visit again soon,
      Patrick

  4. Hello Patrick,

    I enjoyed your post very much. I firmly believe that parents need to set better examples for their children of today. My children are grown. I have 9 grandchildren and 4 great granddaughters. I love watching them grow and of course I think they are the most beautiful, well behaved, children in the world!

    I hope lots of people with children read this blog and get some great ideas for parenting.

    My best to you, Vel

    • Vel,
      Thank you for reading my post and providing your feedback. I agree with you — our children and grandchildren ARE the most beautiful, well behaved children in the world 🙂 Ok, maybe they’re not perfect, but they should know that they are extremely special and loved by us (which it is clear your children and grandchildren already know). I’m glad you enjoyed this post and hope you visit again soon.
      Regards,
      Patrick

    • Debbi,
      Thank you for checking out my FamilyStaples site…I’m glad you like it. Family is very important to me and I like to address topics that are helpful and encouraging to other parents.
      Please visit again soon,
      Patrick

  5. Great article! Great information.All you have to do is look around and you see children so young who are obese.It is a major problem.Which I believe starts at home. Great job addressing this problem Patrick. Jazmin

    • Jazmin,
      Thank you for your kind words. You’re definitely correct that childhood obesity is a major problem — though there have been steps taken (even at the Federal government level) to raise awareness, much more can/must be done.
      Thanks for visiting and please stop by again soon,
      Patrick

    • David,
      Thank you for your feedback. I agree with you, there are ways to make this fun for the kids and the entire family. It will be much more effective if we can find activities that the kids enjoy and that the whole family can engage in. Also, including the kids in the planning of meals and in making healthy food choices helps them feel like participants and educates them at the same time.
      Have a wonderful day,
      Patrick

  6. These are great tips, for parents to pay attention to. I am a firm believer that it is up to the parents to take good care of their children’s health.
    Gordi

    • Gordi,
      Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. I fully agree with you that we, as parents, need to take a vested interest in all aspects of our children’s care and well-being.
      Have a wonderful day & visit again soon,
      Patrick

  7. What a great reminder post of what we should be doing for and with our kids if we are not already. Most of it is common sense, but we do need reminders sometimes. I love the look & feel of your site.

    • Kelly,
      I agree with you that much of this is common sense, but as with all things it is helpful to be reminded and encouraged. I’m glad you like the site and hope you will visit often.
      Have a wonderful day,
      Patrick

    • Holly,
      I’m glad you visited Family Staples and glad to hear that you like the site. Please visit again and, if you’re interested in getting our periodic (~monthly) newsletter by email, please sign up with your email on our home page (banner in upper right column). I hope to provide posts that provide inspiration for parents and families, so I welcome your feedback and suggestions.
      Regards,
      Patrick

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