3851 W 95th sT.evergreen park,il60805
Phone 708-745-3499. fax: 708-745-3398
Helping Children Live a Healthier Life
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How to Stay Healthy?
Balance is key in helping your child maintain a healthy weight. Balance the calories your child eats and drinks with the calories used through physical activity and normal growth. Here are some tips you can do to help your child live a healthier life:
1-Kids need to stay active. Children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week, and every day if possible (recommendation by the American Heart Association/AHA). Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you. Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include: dancing, brisk walking, playing tag, using the stairs, jumping rope, playing soccer, Swimming....etc
2-Explain to your children the benefits of being physically active. Children like facts and science ! Teach them that physical activity has great benefits like: Helping with weight management, keeping your bones strong , decreasing your blood pressure, Increase your good cholesterol (HDL), reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing self-esteem.
3-Remove calorie-rich temptations. Treats are OK in moderation, but limiting high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can also help your children develop healthy eating habits. Use small or medium size cup of banana, carrots or apple as snack.
4-Encourage healthy eating habits: Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products. Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products, choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans for protein, and serve reasonably sized portions.
5-Encourage your family to drink lots of water. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar, sodium and saturated fat. Sugar-sweetened beverages have a lot of added sugars, so reduce or cut out soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks as well as enhanced waters, sweetened teas and sugary coffee drinks.
6- Enjoy meals together. When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much.
7- When you use oils for cooking, baking or in dressings or spreads, choose healthier oils — which include canola, corn, olive, safflower, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils.
8- Try to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. If using packaged foods, compare food labels, and choose the product with the least amount of sodium. Use herbs and spices to add flavor when cooking, instead of salt.
9- Always set a good example for your kids! Eat healthy and Exercise so they learn from you.
How Much Exercise is Recommended?
The American Heart Association/AHA recommends that all children age 2 and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied.
If your child or children don't have a full 60-minute activity break each day, try to provide at least two 30-minute periods or four 15-minute periods in which they can engage in vigorous activities appropriate to their age, gender and stage of physical and emotional development.
Refer to the AHA website for more details //www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyKids/ActivitiesforKids/The-AHAs-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Children_UCM_304053_Article.jsp#.WIAUQWQrKCQ
Remind your child about the following benefits of being physically active:
1- Controlling weight
2- Reducing blood pressure
3- Raising HDL ("good") cholesterol
4- Reducing the risk of diabetes and some kinds of cancer
5- Improved psychological well-being, including gaining more self-confidence and higher self-esteem
Physical activity should be increased by reducing sedentary time (e.g., watching television, playing computer video games or talking on the phone). Physical activity should be fun for children and adolescents.
Understanding Childhood Obesity, How bad is it?
Look at the following facts published by AHA :
1- About one in three children and teens in the U.S. is overweight obese
2- Overweight kids have a 70–80 percent chance of staying overweight their entire lives.
3- Obese and overweight adults now outnumber those at a healthy weight; nearly seven in 10 U.S. adults are overweight or obese.
Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels.
There are also psychological effects: Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression. And excess weight at young ages has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood.
How to Define Childhood Obesity ?
BMI is an important tool to identify childhood obesity. What is BMI?
Body Mass Index is calculated using weight and height measurements and is an indicator of body fatness. It’s an inexpensive and easy-to-perform way to screen for possible weight issues that may lead to health problems.
You can find your child’s BMI by entering his or her height and weight into this online BMI calculator for children and teens from the CDC. Use the following link to find out your BMI:
What does my child’s BMI mean?
For children and teens, BMI is evaluated using age- and gender-specific charts that take into account the different growth patterns for gender. Weight and the amount of fat in the body differ for boys and girls and those levels change as they grow taller and older. This helps to know how a child’s particular BMI reading compares to the readings of other U.S. children his or her age. The group is divided into percentiles that reflect whether a child is at a healthy weight, underweight, overweight or obese. Use the following link to find theses charts:
Children over age 2, or teens whose BMI is:
Less than the 5th percentile are considered underweight.
Between the 5th percentile and less than the 85th percentile are at a healthy weight.
In the 85th percentile to less than the 95th percentile are considered overweight.
Equal to, or greater than the 95th percentile are considered obese.