Children are the foundation of our future, which is why we should make sure they are eating healthy and getting the proper amount of physical activity each and every day! Did you know that children tend to get taller, about 2.5 inches each year, and they gain about 4-7lbs per year until puberty starts?
Statistics show in the State of North Carolina, the childhood obesity rate is at 16.1%, making North Carolina rank 18th out of 50 states. Statistics also state that the most common causes of childhood obesity are genetic factors, the lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors. Today I will be giving you a few quick suggestions to help with childhood obesity:
- Make a Favorite Dish Healthier: Spaghetti is a classic childhood favorite that many enjoy! Instead of plain spaghetti with sauce, get creative and try whole wheat pasta with veggies hidden inside.
- Drink Water: Water keeps you hydrated and full. Try to drink a glass of water at breakfast, snack, or dinner instead of milk or juice. This helps reduce temptations throughout the day and keeps you full for longer.
- Incorporate Healthy Snacks: Instead of choosing chocolate, chips, or sugared-up snacks, opt for a healthier choice that includes fruits and/or vegetables. A rice cake with peanut butter and bananas is a tasty satisfying treat!
- Teach Kids about Serving Size: Candies and chips are delicious, but we should still be mindful about the amounts we are eating. Try to consume them in a smaller serving size to curb that sweet tooth but not go overboard.
- Incorporate 60 mins of Physical Activity Per Day: Allowing children to get up and move is beneficial for their physical development (gross motor skills) and it may make their day better! Other added benefits include mood improvement and better sleep quality.
- Limit Screen Time: In today’s society, screen time has taken control over our lives, even more so since all things have transitioned to virtual. Although networks like YouTube and social media are very entertaining, children tend to spend more time looking at screens than ever before. Try to reduce screen time to an hour a day and encourage the kids to find a different activity such as drawing, playing a board game, dancing, or completing a puzzle.
This article was written by our spring intern, Kiera Mabry.
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
Prep Time: 10 min
- Skewers (Can be found on the baking aisle at grocery store)
- Fruit of your choice (strawberries, orange chunks, pineapple chunks, kiwi chunks, grapes)
- Wash and prepare all of your fruit by cutting any large fruits into chunks.
- Take the skewer and begin adding one piece of fruit at a time.