Did you know that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month? According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, three in 10 children in the United States are classified as overweight or obese. That’s 31% of US kids who are between 10 and 17 years old.
Here at the Monroe County YMCA, we strive to keep the community—especially your kids—as healthy as possible. Since we’re focusing on youth health this month, we want to give you a few tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your daily life to help your family live healthier together:
Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice, and encourage everyone to fill half of their plates with fruits and vegetables. As a family, choose a new fruit and veggie to try together every week. You can even place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals, and encourage your kids to stay hydrated and be responsible by pouring their own glasses of water.
Play Every Day & Go Outside: Kids should have at least one hour of play outside each day, if the weather allows it! They should also partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity three or more days each week. To make it a fun family affair, join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.
Get Together: Eat as a family as often as you can. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation, and clean up. Parents, you should also take a break from electronics and spend one-to-one time with your kids during mealtimes—enjoy their company at each stage of their childhood!
Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone, or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home. You can turn off screens during meals, charge electronics in the kitchen overnight, go for an evening walk, or set a timer to remind you to power down the screen.
Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for a great night of rest. Kids are growing constantly, so they need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Parents, make sure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night as well.
In addition to these tips, we have a wealth of Youth Programs that are offered at the Y. From Youth Sports to Friday Night Fun, we’ve got something for each of your kiddos to enjoy. Check out our website for more information, or give us a call at (812) 332-5555.