Childhood obesity affects 20 percent of all children in the United State. Regular visits with your Conway family medicine office can help prevent childhood obesity, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
The positive side to childhood obesity is that it can be prevented. When your family partners with your pediatrician and community, your child can stay active and learn proper eating habits. Maintaining a healthy weight is achieved through balance – countering your child’s food and drink choices with sports and other activities that support normal growth.
How To Prevent Childhood Obesity
Don’t put your child on a weight reduction plan without first speaking with your pediatrician. When you’re building a plan to balance your child’s food intake with activity, monitoring caloric plays a key role in your approach.
In order to build healthy eating habits, your kids need to have nutritious meals and snacks with the pediatrician-recommended number of calories. When your child’s meals include fresh foods, like fruit, vegetables, and lean protein, their body will naturally reduce the desire for high-sugar content foods.
To reduce your child’s caloric intake:
- Fill half of your child’s plate with vegetables
- Include whole-grain products in meals and snacks
- Choose low calories or non-fat dairy products
- Cook lean meats, fish, and poultry
- Serve dinner on appropriately sized plates for recommended portion sizes
- Serve water instead of soda or sugary drinks the majority of the time
- Research ways to make your child’s favorite dishes healthier
Doing all you can at home to make healthy meals will make your well checkups with your Conway family medicine practice run more smoothly.
Healthy Snacks For Kids
While it’s important to keep kids on a healthy food regimen, it’s also important that they have snacks in between those healthy meals.
Easy, Healthy Snacks Recommended by Pediatricians
- Apple (medium size)
- Banana (medium size)
- Blueberries (1 cup)
- Grapes (1 cup)
- Carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers with low-fat dressing or hummus
- Raw almonds
- Celery with one teaspoon peanut butter
When your child develops healthy habits and receives a good bill of health from your Conway family medicine doctor, they begin to see the benefits of staying active and eating well. The benefits your child being active goes far beyond a healthy weight.
Healthy Weight Benefits for Kids:
- Boosting self-esteem
- Strengthening bone
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Helping with weight management
- Increased focus in the classroom
The goal is for your child to stay active at least one hour most days of the week. The fun part is staying active doesn’t have to include strenuous work. Speak with your pediatrician for ideas, but some exercise options include walking the dog, riding bikes, visiting a park, swimming, or playing tag.
Reduce time your child spends on the couch or in front of a digital screen. Kids should have no more than 30 minutes of screen time each day. Allow your child to participate in the conversation and checkup at your Conway family medicine office so they feel involved.
Recommendations that focus on small but permanent modifications to the child’s diet will work better than a complete overhaul. Encourage your child to stay active, make them healthy meals, and regularly speak with your pediatrician if you have any questions about preventing childhood obesity.