Prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, obesity affected 19.3% of children ages 2 to 19 years. Since then, the rate of body mass index (BMI) in children has nearly doubled. (CDC)
“Childhood obesity can make a child more susceptible to developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke in the future,” explains Tanisha Gonzalez, Registered Dietitian at Neighborhood, “Factors such as genetics, hormones and lifestyle can contribute to childhood obesity.”
Included within these factors are issues like: A child having reduced opportunities to engage in physical activities, diets high in calorie dense/processed foods, poor access to foods/food insecurity, and their socioeconomic status.”
Checkout these tips!
- Follow my plate method: Half plate fruit and veggies, a quarter plate grains/whole grains, and a quarter plate protein.
- Add nutrient dense snacks: Plan and portion snacks in advance! 2-3 snacks, one to two hours prior or post meals should be sufficient for children. Focus on the food groups such as carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats! Snacking is a great way to get some fruits and veggies in!
- Try different types of proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, lentils!
- Drink more water: Limit sugary beverages such as sodas and juices.
Have your child get involved in the kitchen! Have them grocery shop and prepare meals with you! Cook and eat as a family!
Get Active! It’s recommended that children get one hour of physical activity that they enjoy doing every day while outdoors or indoors!
Lead by example! Be a good role model to your children. Practice safe and healthy habits in order to encourage change.
See a doctor or a dietitian for additional help!