Lifestyle changes can help kids who are overweight, reducing their risk of developing long-term health conditions later.
We believe we can change the future of Louisiana through coordinated care among parents, providers and kids to fight childhood obesity, which is a public health crisis in our state. We’ve gathered some lifestyle changes to make together to improve the health of everyone in the family.
Not Just Numbers on the Scale
How can you tell if your child should lose weight? Kids should gain weight as they grow and get taller, and the question is about whether their weight gain is proportional to height.
Your child’s pediatrician can help you make sense of things, as annual visits can track weight and height changes. But those numbers are only part of the equation. Focusing on healthy behavior changes can do the most good in the long term.
Five Tips to Encourage Healthy Habits
- Be a fitness role model and get moving yourself. Get active as a family to increase your chances of healthier lifestyle success.
- Shop smart and healthy, and focus on keeping healthy snacks on hand. Make it easier for kids to make good choices by leaving unhealthier foods at the store.
- Prepare and eat meals together as a family, which can increase kids’ interest in trying new foods.
- Avoid using food as reward or punishment, as both undermine establishing healthy eating habits. Help kids learn that food is fuel and nourishment.
- Schedule annual wellness visits with your child’s primary care provider. These appointments include growth checks and more.