Childhood obesity affects many families, but what can be done to stop it? The Childhood Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Clinic at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger is figuring that out. The clinic works with families to help them learn to make healthy choices. Small changes are the key to success. At the clinic, goals are set with the child and family. These goals are healthy changes the child and family agree to make to make in order to help reverse obesity.
So what small changes can make a difference? Think 5-2-1-0!
- Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Eat fruits and vegetables, in place of less healthy foods.
- Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.
- At mealtime, limit second servings to fruits and vegetables only.
- Eat the colors of the rainbow every day!
- Limit screen time to 2 hours or less per day.
- “Screen time” includes computers, TV, video games, and phones.
- Remove TVs and computers from bedrooms.
- No screen time for children under age 2.
- In place of screens, have your child play a game, go outside, dance to music, read, draw, or do a craft project.
- Be active for at least 1 hour per day.
- This includes playing outside, walking the dog, dancing, playing sports, doing chores, riding a bike to school, playing Frisbee, and kicking a soccer ball.
- Physical activity should be fun and done together as a family.
- Activity can be done a little at a time to equal 1 hour per day.
- Reduce sweetened beverages to 0.
- Sweetened beverages include soda, sweetened tea, sweetened coffee drinks, lemonade, punch, sports drinks, and fruit drinks.
- Drink more water.
If you would like to bring your child to the Childhood HEAL Clinic, ask your doctor to make a referral by calling 778-KIDS.
Jaime Lacey, RD, LDN
Childhood Healthy Eating and Active Living Center