Combating childhood obesity

What parents can do to promote healthy habits

Parents and caregivers are the biggest influences on kids’ behavior, so it’s important to model good eating habits and encourage physical activity to fight the childhood obesity epidemic. According to data collected from 2015-16, nearly 1 in 5 American school-age children qualify as obese. Here are some tips you can follow to promote a healthy lifestyle for your child:

Serve nutritious meals and snacks that include plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products.

Treats should be just that—treats. They’re OK in moderation, but sugar and salty snacks should be limited.

Help kids stay active. For young people, an hour of physical activity is recommended every day. Help set an example by adding more physical activity to your own daily routine.

Reduce sedentary temptations. Quiet time is great for reading and homework, but limit your kid’s screen time to no more than two hours a day.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the American Heart Association