Did you know that September is National Childhood Obesity Month? According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 children in the United States has obesity, and children that have obesity are more likely to continue facing obesity and health challenges as adults. These are tough facts to face, but the good news is, childhood obesity is preventable—simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference. Try these easy-to-tackle tips that can help get kids back on a nutritious track:
1. Disguise exercise as playtime. A game of tag at the park, tossing a ball in the backyard, a dance party in the living room, playing fetch with the family dog, snowball fights this winter—all of these activities get kids up and active. They’ll burn calories and strengthen their bones and muscles, while having fun doing it. Bonus points from the kids if their friends are invited to join in the fun, too!
2. Incorporate plenty of fruits and veggies into snacks and meals. We know, this is often easier said than done. If peas get pushed to the side of the plate, or if your kids consider broccoli to be a bad word, let them tag along during your next grocery shopping trip. Give them the opportunity to browse the produce aisle and empower them to pick out their own healthy foods—they’ll likely be willing to try it at the table if they had a hand in picking it out.
3. Include the kids during snack prep. Help them dream up a delicious combination of fruits for a smoothie, line up the ingredients so they can create a healthy snack mix, hand over the celery, peanut butter and raisins for classic “ants on a log.” Not only will they enjoy being part of the prep, but you’ll have an opportunity to teach them about what goes into a healthy snack.
4. Make sure water is their go-to drink. Sweeten the deal by infusing water with fruit—think raspberries, blueberries, orange slices and limes. Also make sure to set a good example and keep your own sugary beverages out of sight—if Mom and Dad indulge, the kids will want to do the same.
5. Reward kids with nutritious treats that satisfy their sweet tooth from time to time. Hand them a Balance Bar in kid-friendly flavors, like Cookie Dough or Chocolate Mint Cookie Crunch. Their cravings will be satisfied, and you’ll look forward to snacktime, too.
Have your own tips to keep kids on a nutritious path? Share them on the Balance Bar Facebook page.