Healthy Kids and Families
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. According to Mayo Clinic, childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height.
The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, I encourage you to make healthy changes by improving the diet and exercise habits of your entire family. Treating and preventing childhood obesity helps protect the health of your child now and in the future.
What can we do?
• Get active outside: Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride, or play basketball at the park.
• Limit screen time: Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day.
• Make healthy meals: Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.
Here are examples of things to do in Rochester:
• Attend the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market and have children each pick one vegetable and work together to prepare it. Encourage them to pick something interesting and new or a favorite.
• Go to Prairie Walls Climbing facility as a family—they also have classes just for kids!
• Pack a picnic lunch and go to Chester Woods Park. After a hike, have a picnic in the park. Bring your insect repellant!
• Go for a walk or bike ride—there are trails all over Rochester and surrounding areas for you to enjoy. Be sure to wear a helmet!
• Participate in a charity-based walk or run as a family. Many have kids’ events/activities.