Childhood obesity is a serious health problem, and rates continue to climb. Even heavy infants and toddlers are at risk of carrying their obesity into later childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Since treatment of children and adolescents with obesity is challenging and often ends in failure, prevention is the key to helping children grow at a healthy weight. At the Kohl’s Start Childhood Off Right program, we encourage parents and caregivers to follow these 10 tips to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity from the earliest opportunity.
1. Breastfeed for at least 6 months
2. Offer healthy, nutritious food and snacks
3. Drink water or milk and avoid juice and sugar sweetened beverages
4. Eat family meals together
5. Minimize packaged and fast foods
6. Remember that infants and toddlers have small stomachs and only need small portions
7. Make sure children 1 year and older get at least one hour of physical activity per day
8. Avoid using food as a reward
9. Limit screen time to none for children under age 2, less than two hours for children over age 2
10. Encourage plenty of sleep (at least 12 hours for 6-24 month olds)
Following these tips will help ensure young children get a nutritious and healthy start in life. For information on other ways to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity for young children, including child-friendly recipes, visit the Kohl’s Start Childhood Off Right website.
Read more Advancing Kids blogs on Preventing Childhood Obesity.
The Kohl’s Start Childhood Off Right (SCOR) program is creating a comprehensive system which supports Hartford families in achieving healthy growth for their children through partnerships with pediatric providers and community organizations. SCOR is a program of Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health.
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Categories: Preventing Childhood Obesity