Obesity rates have more than doubled among children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With nearly one-third of all children and teens in the United States overweight or obese, this serious health issue increases risk for additional health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and asthma.
You can help fight these health risks by introducing a healthy lifestyle to your children’s daily lives today:
- Eat Healthy
- Shop smart at the grocery store and avoid bringing home salty, fried, or packaged foods.
- Visit a local farmer’s market for fresh fruits and vegetables, and support community agriculture.
- Lead by example – Try healthy new recipes during family meals.
- Create a daily food plan online.
- Increase Physical Activity
- Children need to be physically active for at least 60 minutes every day.
- Limit the use of electronic devices to two hours per day and play outside at one of the Department of Conversation and Recreation (DCR)’s local playgrounds, swimming pools, or MassParks.
- Make sure children get enough sleep to ensure they have the energy to play.
- Form Good Habits at School
- Send children to school with healthy snacks and beverages that meet Massachusetts nutrition standards.
- Get involved with MA Children at Play, a program that encourages physical activity at child care facilities, to help students get exercise throughout the day.
- Share school physical activity resources in your community to keep kids active.
- Establish a Healthy BMI
- Body Mass Index (BMI) helps measure body fat and health status. A healthy weight for children and adolescents typically fall between the 5th and 85th percentile. Visit your pediatrician (or family doctor) to have your child’s BMI measured.
- You can also calculate your child’s BMI at home.
How do you promote healthy habits with your children? Tell us by commenting below or tweeting @MassGov.
Volunteering: Making a Difference in Massachusetts posted on Dec 18
Volunteering can be a satisfying and worthwhile experience for everyone. Donating your time, talent, and effort are small ways to make a significant difference in your community. Many volunteer opportunities exist throughout Massachusetts that enable you to get involved in your community and improve the …Continue Reading Volunteering: Making a Difference in Massachusetts
Safe Toys and Gifts for Children posted on Dec 17
Children love receiving gifts and presents around the holidays, and the excitement that comes from unwrapping a gift can fill a house with joy. While toys are meant to be fun and entertaining, they can pose several safety risks. In 2013 there were approximately 256,700 …Continue Reading Safe Toys and Gifts for Children
Fun Winter Activities in Massachusetts posted on Dec 9
Winter is the time for sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace, holiday feasts, caroling around the neighborhood, and strolling around a winter market with family or friends. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) offer a variety …Continue Reading Fun Winter Activities in Massachusetts