Preventing childhood obesity with the right habits in your family

For growing kids, weight management can be even more challenging than it is for adults. However, because childhood obesity can cause the early onset of weight-related medical conditions, such heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and because it can set children up for weight problems as adults, working to keep your child’s weight healthy is critical. You can make significant strides in helping your child with weight management by adopting healthy habits as a family. Try these tips to help your child—and your entire family—stay healthy.

Ban temptations from your pantry
Eating healthy doesn’t mean never having a treat, but it will be far easier for your child to avoid high-calorie, unhealthy snacks on a regular basis if you simply don’t keep them in your house. Stock your refrigerator and cupboards with healthy snacks that are easy to reach for, including fruit and veggies with hummus, and save treats for outside of the home. Your child will become accustomed to enjoying healthier snacks and won’t feel deprived if things like chips, candy, and cookies aren’t within arm’s reach.

Be active as a family
Kids need at least 60 minutes of activity on most days, so make being active a family affair. Get out together and play a game of basketball, go for a walk after dinner, or spend some time swimming at the local pool. You’ll get time to enjoy each other’s company while helping your child adopt an active lifestyle.

Lead by example
Your child will mimic your habits, so embrace a healthy lifestyle yourself. Let your child see you going out to exercise and making healthy food choices. When you cook, serve heart-healthy meals that are low in added sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Limit portion sizes for the whole family, and reach for water throughout the day.

At Riverside Community Hospital, we’re committed to keeping families healthy by providing extensive medical services, ranging from heart care to bariatric weight loss surgery in Riverside. Find out how more about how we can help your family maintain good health, and request a referral to one of our specialists by calling (951) 788-3463.

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