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It’s better to make a plan for staying healthy in any season. And get the whole family involved. It’s especially important to get kids started on healthy habits early. Setting those good habits when children are young puts them on the path toward a healthy life.
But many children are not off to a good start. About 1 in 5 American children are obese, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That puts them at a higher risk for asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Fortunately, there are several things parents can do to help build healthy habits for their children that can last a lifetime.
The CDC emphasizes four main areas to focus on to keep kids healthy: eating habits, activity, sleep and screen time.
Help them move more by being active as a family. Look for ways to blend having fun, being physically active and being together. If you can get outside, you can work in the yard, play games like basketball or touch football, walk the dog, or take a nature walk. Inside, you can have a family dance party, do chores like vacuuming or move along with exercise videos.
If you’re struggling to keep your kids moving and make sure they’re eating healthy foods, reach out for help. First up: Talk to your child’s doctor. You may also find helpful programs at their school. Or check out local groups like the YMCA or Boys and Girls clubs for programs and classes.
Get more tips for preventing childhood obesity.
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