Children throughout the United States eat too much food high in fat and sugar. They tend to weigh more than kids did during previous generations.
With all the electronic and digital options such as smart phones and social media access, today’s youth might spend less time being physically active.
Overweight and inactive children face an increased risk of future health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or cancer.
That’s why it’s so important for parents and guardians to teach their children good habits when it comes to diet and exercise. It’s also imperative to schedule and keep those wellness checkups!
As a parent or guardian, you can make a big difference just by coming to informed and healthy decisions at both meal time and social time.
• Be mindful of the type of food you purchase. Choose healthy options and limit the junk food.
• Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy snacks instead of, say, a bag of chips or a candy bar.
• Watch those portion sizes. Read the nutrition facts label to learn the serving size.
• Gather and eat as a family as often as possible. Eat at the table and avoid watching TV.
• Fluids are key. Water and milk are the best options. Sugary and high-calorie drinks such as soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened tea and flavored milk are on the no-no list.
• Away from the dinner table, monitor your children’s activities. Keep their screen time — whether on the phone, computer, tablet, video games or TV — to 2 hours a day.
• Encourage the kids to engage in physical activity. Ride a bicycle, play ball, jump rope, walk or swim.
• Support your child as he or she participates in group activities such as team sports or martial arts.
• Remember to make dental and vision appointments, and set a date for wellness checkups.
• Teach the children about the harmful affects of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
• Set a good example. Pay attention to how your actions affect your children.
The goal is to keep your children healthy. Even the seemingly “little” things can make a big impact in reaching that goal.
CVMG’s Healthy Living Program will feature this month’s webinar “Keeping Your Kids Healthy” at 7 p.m. on August 25. To participate in this free event, visit