What is the key to combating childhood obesity and fostering healthy eating habits in kids?
- Counting calories with your kids?
- Restricting all foods not deemed healthy?
- Weighing the kids and making sure they are a “normal” weight?
- Putting kids on a diet?
I think all these methods are the wrong approach. Sadly, I’ve seen way too much of these techniques used in our society and schools these days. I believe that creating a lifestyle of healthy attitudes toward food and physical activity is THE way to prevent childhood (or adult) obesity, and avoid eating disorders or other OCD behaviors involving food.
I love the Mamavation Program, developed by Leah Segedie to help moms change their lives. She advocates a gradual lifestyle change involving healthy eating, and exercise, as well as attitude changes that make us healthier! SO many moms have become what they never thought they could be with Leah’s help.
After 16 years away from my passion for dance, I decided to start taking Ballet, Jazz and Hip Hop classes, and I’ve been on a journey to fill my life with more activity in the last few years! I finally kicked my 5-can-a-day Diet Coke habit, which was bloating me, filling my body with chemicals, and tricking my mind. What actually sparked this change? I began to “work out” (read: play active games) on the Wii! It can be anything that you enjoy that starts you on the healthy journey.
The KEY to developing healthy habits in our kids is all about TOGETHERNESS! Here are some facts:
Several academic studies have demonstrated that children who participate in regular family meals are more likely to have a healthful diet as they grow up – and less likely to become obese. Just consider a few examples:
- A study by the University of Minnesota, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, which found that adolescents who eat with their families grow up to be healthier adults who eat more fruit, dark-green and orange vegetables and key nutrients. Girls who participate in more family meals are more likely to eat breakfast as adults. Boys are more likely to consume more calcium, magnesium, potassium and other fibre when they grow up.
- Another study by the University of Minnesota, published in the August 2004 issue of The Archives of Family Medicine, demonstrated a relationship between frequent family meals and better nutritional intake and decreased risk of unhealthy weight control practices.
- A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (October 2009) found that family dinner frequency was positively associated with breakfast consumption and fruit intake (and inversely associated with depressive symptoms).
- A Harvard study (Archives of Family Medicine, March 2000) showed that eating family dinners together most or all days of the week is associated with more healthful eating.
- A University of Missouri study found that children who ate fewer family meals (and watched more television) were more likely to be overweight at spring semester of grade 3.
Twitter Party with Together Counts
So tonight (Tuesday), I’ll be guest panelist in a Twitter Party with Mamavation and Together Counts. Together Counts is a fantastic program that encourages families to get more activity and eat meals together as a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Check them out at TogetherCounts.com
To win the AWESOME PRIZES, you have to RSVP and enter to win at Mamavation by clicking here!
Then, meet on Twitter by following the hastag #healthykids tonight from 8-10 PM est! Will I see you there?