Catalina Duarte, Public Relations & Social Media Specialist, YMCA of San Diego County
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and as a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving health, the YMCA of San Diego County is reminding parents about the importance of incorporating regular physical activity and healthier eating habits into their children’s lives. One key to fighting childhood obesity is prevention, and the YMCA is offering the following tips keep families active, healthy, happy and engaged:
1. Eat & Drink Healthy:
Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family, choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals and allow children to pour their own water. Keep full water bottles available in the car and backpacks.
2. Play Every Day/Go Outside:
Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.
3. Get Together:
Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-to-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.
4. Reduce Recreational Screen Time:
Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e. turn off screens during meals, charge electronics/screens in the kitchen overnight, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).
5. Sleep Well:
Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night and seven to eight hours for adults.
For more information on how your family can live a healthy, active life, visit http://www.ymca.org
Want to become healthier but don't know where to start? Visit any YMCA location in San Diego County for FREE on Saturday, September 14, 2019! Each branch is hosting an open house for the community.