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Raising Healthy Eaters and Active Children
In the United States today we are obsessed with dieting; yet, as a nation, we are getting larger each year.
In fact, one in five children in the United States is considered overweight. Parents often feel helpless or confused about how to prevent eating problems. Thankfully, there are many ways parents can foster healthy attitudes about eating, nutrition, and exercise.
10 Ways Parents Can Promote Healthy Eating and Exercise Habits
Eat Healthy Snacks — Keep healthy snacks in the house: fruits, low-fat yogurt, and pretzels.
Stay Active Each Day — Take the stairs instead of the elevator and plan walks with your child.
Parenting and Evaluation
A September 1998 report "Family is Key to Treating Childhood Obesity" from the American Academy of Pediatrics, notes that parenting skills are the foundation for successful treatment of childhood obesity. A committee of pediatric obesity experts recommends early evaluation followed by treatment that focuses on healthy eating and increased physical activity. Their recommendations included 1) that childhood obesity should be viewed as a chronic disease that can be treated; and 2) treatment should involve all family members and caregivers.
Parenting skills needed for successful treatment of obesity include:
The committee advocates treatment that institutes gradual, targeted, permanent changes, and recommends that families derive support from a variety of health professionals, including physicians, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, psychologists, and counselors.
Helping Your Overweight Child — Genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors and how a parent can help.
Food and Nutrition Information Center — Government-sponsored food and nutrition information.
Ellyn Satter — Books for parents, teaching materials, workshops on healthy eating for children.