Did you know that about 1 in 5 (19%) children in the U.S. are obese?
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, an opportunity for early
childhood educators and families to learn more about this serious health condition and the many ways to support children on their journey to good health.
Obesity is an increasing health concern for our children. Because so many young children spend a significant portion of their week in child care, early
childhood education programs have a unique opportunity to work with families in combatting childhood obesity.
In 2016, the Center for Disease Control released its Early Care and Education State Indicator Report to show how states have promoted obesity prevention efforts in program settings. In Alaska, thread and Learn & Grow,
Alaska’s Quality Recognition & Improvement System (QRIS), are assisting programs implement best health practices to help prevent childhood obesity.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, there are many
things parents can do to help their children achieve a healthy weight and maintain it:
- Be aware of your child’s growth. Learn how obesity is measured in children,
and use CDC’s Child and Teen BMI Calculator to screen your child for potential
- Provide nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetablesExternal in place of
foods high in added sugars and solid fats. Try serving more fruit and vegetables at meals and as snacks.
- Make sure drinking water is always available as a no-calorie alternative to sugary beverages and limit juice intake.
- Help children get the recommended amount of physical activity each day.
Find age appropriate activities here.
- Be a role model! Eat healthy meals and snacks, and get the right amount of physical activity every day.
- Learn what you can do to help shape a healthy school environment.
Equipped with these best practices, early childhood education programs and families are on track to help prevent childhood obesity and teach children life-long
For other tips, and to learn more about National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, click here.