Provided by Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center
With childhood obesity on the rise, it’s our responsibility to make some changes and set young people up for a healthy future. As of 2015 and 2016, nearly one in five children ages 6 to 19 had obesity. How do you tackle this issue with your own children in a healthy way? Teaching your children to have a healthy relationship with food, find physical activities they enjoy and have a positive body image can help send them down the road to a healthier life.
Healthy Food Choices
It’s important to teach children from an early age that food is fuel. A diet of primarily whole foods can help students improve their academic performance, have fewer disciplinary problems, have overall better health, higher self-esteem and more energy for physical activity.
Don’t assume school lunches are always healthy. Children who eat school lunches will likely eat two fewer servings of fruits or veggies a day and two more servings of fried food. Over 80 percent of school breakfast and lunch programs do not meet the USDA standards for fat consumption. That’s why it’s critical to model healthy eating behaviors at home and explain how and why healthy eating is important. Children can learn to make the best choices, even when less healthy options are on the menu. There are some great resources available to teach children about nutrition.
Make Fitness Fun
Make sure that that additional fitness activities are fun for kids and don’t seem like a punishment. Kids don’t need adult workouts to get physically fit. Find activities they truly enjoy and fitness will come naturally. Make fitness a family affair and everyone can get healthier and more active together. You may want to try:
- Jumping rope
- Playing tag
- Riding bicycles
- Taking a nature hike
- Playing a sport together
- Walking the family dog
- Having a dance party
- Having a foot race
While building skills to make great food choices and be physically active are so important for kids, it’s equally important to help them build self-esteem. Body image issues that children develop growing up can carry into adulthood. How can you help your child build self-esteem?
Be mindful of how you talk to and about your child about his or her body. Only speak positively about your child’s body to help him or her develop a positive body image.
It’s also not just what we say to our children about their bodies, it’s what we say in front of them about our bodies, that can shape their self-esteem and body image. Avoid speaking negatively about your own body or someone else’s. Hearing you speak negatively about yourself or someone else can send damaging messages to your children and affect how they view their own bodies.
A Place to Build Skills
Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center provides the means for children in the Prince William County area to be the healthiest they can be. They help kids develop the skills and confidence they need for competitive sports in a fun and positive environment. See what activities your child may enjoy on their website.