Important Steps to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Your Family

Did you know that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month? Fit mom and featured guest blogger, Christine, is passionate about keeping her family healthy. Read more about Christine over at her blog, Love Life Surf, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Fit mom and featured blogger, Christine, with her two boys.

Hi! I’m Christine and I live in New York City with my two sons and husband. I blog at Love, Life, Surf where I talk about family, fitness and my obsession with surfing, and the challenges of balancing it all.

While I’ve been active my whole life, my main motivation to be fit are my kids. I want to experience life with them – to run alongside them when they first start riding a bike, see their eyes widen at the top of a mountain, do cartwheels in the grass, and watch them grow up. I also want my kids themselves to be active and healthy.

I used to be the Director of a community collaborative in NYC focused on increasing access to healthy food and physical activity. Through that experience, I saw the impact of the rising childhood obesity rate in the U.S., which has nearly tripled over the past 30 years.

  • Approximately 1/3 of children are overweight or obese and face a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke – diseases often associated with adulthood.
  • In New York City, 1 in 5 kindergarteners are obese.
  • The current generation of children is the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Just take a moment to think about that last fact.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Let’s all make a commitment to be active with our kids.

1. Get out the door. This is often the hardest step. My kids are homebodies. They will whine about going to the playground but once they’re there, it’s hard to get them to come home! You may have to put up with some resistance but kids quickly forget their complaints when they are having fun.

2. Find something your child enjoys. When kids enjoy doing an activity, they are likely to stick with it. My kids love swimming and will spend hours in the pool. However, if I made them play soccer, they would last 5 minutes…maybe.

3. Focus on fun and never under-estimate the power of being silly. My kids love creating obstacle courses…and watching Mommy and Daddy stumble. They love being chased by the “Silly face monster” or trying to balance balls on a tennis racquet while dancing around. Make being active fun and silly and your kids will join in.

4. Turn off the TV and computer. The TV and computer are very alluring. But time in front of a screen means we aren’t moving. Commit to “unplugging” for an hour and spend that time being active with your kids.

5. Be a good role model. Let’s face it – kids notice everything. If they see you being active, they are more likely want to try it. I make a point for my kids to see me exercise. Now, my oldest will ask about my exercise plan for the day. Sometimes, while practicing yoga at home, my boys will join me, creating their own little flow and practice.

How are you going to move with your child this month?

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10 thoughts on “Important Steps to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Your Family

  1. Samantha says:

    My baby girl is only four months but I try and make it a point to exercise with her. She even sits in her carseat and watches me train!! I believe being active with your kids and a good role model is super important!!! Thanks for th great info!!

  2. Jenna says:

    Wonderful post!! Such great advice! I’m a nanny for three little ones and I try to be a healthy example all the time. Lots of physical activity and games like t-ball and tennis! We also bake all the time but it’s always healthy dishes!! Thanks for the awesome tips! Spa love!

  3. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says:

    Excellent points! Those stats are really scary. I love the tip about being a role model, and am hopeful that by instilling a love for activity in our kids, they can inspire the same for their generation. Thanks for the great article, Christine!

  4. Kristen @ Be Fit with Kristen says:

    Such a hot topic. I couldn’t agree more. When I was young we would be outside playing all day. Now there’s video games, less gym class in schools etc. etc. I’m a big advocate for teaching kids early on how to move and eat right. Thanks for the post. 🙂

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