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My five bottom line thoughts to combat childhood obesity

Did you know President Obama proclaimed September 2013 as the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month? During this month, the goal is to build on the momentum and strengthen the trend toward healthier lifestyles for our children and families. The Activities to Zucchini blogs have highlighted actions by the government combating childhood obesity from school lunches to activity. We all know by now that 1 in 3 adults are obese and 17 percent of our children are obese.

Here are Activities to Zucchini’s five bottom line thoughts to combating childhood obesity:

  1. It starts in utero: More research is looking at prenatal care – how the mother cares for herself possibly contributes to the baby’s health later in life!
  2. It continues with infant feeding: How we introduce foods and what we provide to our babies matters.
  3. Mindful eating:  We must listen to our infant, toddler, preschooler, child, and adolescent’s feeding cues and be aware of where and how our children consume their food.
  4. Practice balance with structure: It is our job as parents to provide a variety of foods rich in nutrition to our children.  At the same time, we need to provide structure at meal time so our children will understand what to expect (with the goal they then learn healthy eating habits).
  5. Incorporate activity as a family: If the children know activity is a part of their family lifestyle, they may see it as fun rather than a chore.

There are several government and national programs that aim to improve our children’s lives- which are great!  However, change can happen if there is buy in – which may start at home.

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.