We have a great guest post for you this week from guest writer Madeline Vida, one of the fabulous mom bloggers of Moms.com and Babygaga.com. In this post Madeline discusses some great tips to help promote a healthy, active lifestyle for both yourself and your child as they grow up! I hope you enjoy!
With childhood and adult obesity rates steadily rising over the past few decades, it’s no wonder parents are starting to become a bit more health conscious when it comes to their children’s lifestyles. The truth of the matter is, our children are developing poor habits (routed in infancy) that are solidifying as patterns and choices are repeated as the years progress. Researchers are beginning to realize that the solution to decreasing the rate of obesity begins at birth. By instilling proper eating habits and lifestyle choices from the get-go, along with role modeling those favorable behaviors, children are more likely to grow up with the tools they need to maintain a healthy and well-balanced way of life.
In order to introduce those proper eating and exercise customs early on, there are many things that parents can do to guide their children on the right path; with healthy eating being at the top of the list. Providing your children with a variety of foods that are high in essential vitamins and minerals will not only fuel their bodies with the nutrients they need, but it will also allow your children to grow a love for healthful foods as opposed to junk food. Healthy food can be fun when you allow it to be, so encourage children to be an active part in selecting good foods in the grocery store and preparing it with you in the kitchen.
Aside from healthy eating, adequate physical activity is a must for all ages, especially for children, whose bodies are designed to move! The CDC reports that children should be getting roughly 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, but even 60 minutes isn’t very much for a healthy energetic child. The Government of Canada says that even with obesity aside, “children who aren’t active enough are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular illnesses.”
One of the most important aspects of raising a child into a healthy adult is role modeling. Children learn through observing just as much as they learn through interacting. By modeling healthy eating and sufficient physical activity, you make it the norm for your child who then grows up to know nothing less. Like previously stated, these habits are routed in infancy, so splurge and get that jogging stroller you’ve had on your baby wish list forever and incorporate your little one into your daily workout routines. Going for daily runs with your baby is just one of many ways to model good physical activity.
Obesity is a problem in today’s society that we desperately need to fix. With screen time and fast food becoming all the more normal (quick, easy fixes- we get that!), bad habits are imbuing themselves into the young minds of our children, making them harder to change when obesity becomes a problem in childhood, adolescence, and/or adulthood. If you do have a child, especially one who is overweight or obese, encourage them to eat right and stay active by being a part of it with them! Remember, even a small change can mean a world of difference in terms of reducing obesity, especially if you stop the progression early on. So, grab that jogging stroller and run your baby to the grocery store to show them the wonder that is healthy living.
Let me know if you have any feedback or ideas you use to help promote a healthy, active lifestyle for your children!
Wishing you a week of health and wellness,
–Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN
Denver’s Dancing Dietitian
A Taste of Health, LLC
“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”