Living a happy and healthy life can talk all sorts of forms in this modern era, but one struggle that many children are facing is that obesity is becoming a problem at an earlier age than in previous generations. In fact, one in five children in the United States is considered to be obese.
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is here to offer some focus and attention on this issue and make a way for how to provide a healthier lifestyle for every child!
History of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
With the awareness that the problem of obesity had been growing significantly in recent decades, Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the US from 2009-2017, was an advocate for the need for children to be encouraged to have a healthier lifestyle. With the “Let’s Move!” campaign, Ms. Obama was intent on providing school children with healthier meals, and providing them with more opportunities to get physical activity and exercise.
The first official observance of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month can be traced back to 2011 when a presidential proclamation about the day was made by US President Barack Obama. This event has been celebrated each year to raise awareness about problems with childhood obesity and provide parents, teachers and others with tools they need to encourage children toward healthier lifestyles.
How to Celebrate National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Looking for ways to observe National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month? Check out some of these ideas:
Make Small Health Changes
Parents, grandparents and guardians of children can celebrate National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by making small changes to create healthy habits as a lifestyle. While most pediatricians would not recommend putting a child on a “diet” by restricting calories or making them feel guilty about their weight, there are ways to make some substitutions to promote a healthier weight.
For instance, when serving snacks try to exchange chips or cookies for carrot sticks and fruit. Change out healthy white bread for a whole-grain bread. Promote protein rich foods like yogurt for breakfast, instead of serving sugary cereals. There are a lot of small changes that can make a big difference.
Get Active and Moving
One of the big struggles to consider for National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is that kids have the ability in today’s world to be constantly entertained while sitting down. Children whose families have restrictions on television, video games and other screens may find that the kids play outside more often, becoming more active and enjoying more exercise. This type of activity can cut down on the propensity toward weight gain in children and teens.
Access Important Resources
One vital thing to remember in honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is that no one is alone. Schools, medical professionals, youth centers and so many others should be interested in helping children to be as healthy as possible. Many resources with specific information on how to help kids stay fit and active can be found on various websites, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).