Tips to Conquer Childhood Obesity

I found a great article today that provided a few simple and sensible tips for fighting fat in children (or really, at any age.)

1. Downsize your plate, upsize your vegetable intake

This one is fairly easy. You know those platters they serve food on at restaurants? Well, don’t use them at home. According to BRIAN WANSINK, PhD and KOERT VAN ITTERSUM, PhD in a 2007 commentary in the Journal of the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION, the actual size of an average dinner plate in America has increased by 36% since 1960.

Challenge: Take a dinner plate out of your cupboard and measure it. If it is over 10 inches in diameter, you could be serving your family too much food!

2. Swap screen time for play time

Here’s a simple restating of a scientific law you probably learned in grade school; an object at rest remains at rest unless it is moved by an outside force and; an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Your kids will remain in front of the “boob tube” (as my father used to call it) for as long as you will let them. If you shove them outside with a ball or a butterfly net, they will remain outside until you scream your voice hoarse. Just sayin’.

3. Get moving

See above scientific law.

Here’s what the article said about the importance of getting moving:

Pediatricians recommend children ages 1 to 3 get 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity every day, while preschoolers need 90 to 120 minutes. Regular exercise helps children grow to a healthy weight, build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, and strengthen their hearts.

If all the benefits of good health and fitness are still not enough to motivate you, how about $5,000?

You could win as much as $5,000 and a $30,000 donation to your Children’s Miracle Network Hospital by entering the national Family Dance-off. Entering is easy. Film your family’s best dance moves and upload your video to between Feb. 25 and March 23. Visit the contest website for full details.