As one of the top health family care Lewisville TX clinics (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook and Boyd), we consider it a top priority to offer resources and education to our community. This month we are focusing on helping parents and caregivers support their children in a healthy lifestyle. This is especially important when it comes to curbing childhood obesity. Read on to learn a few top tips from our family medical experts.
Risks Associated with Childhood Obesity
Although most parents and caregivers are aware that childhood obesity is not ideal, many fail to understand just how dangerous it can be. The challenges associated with obesity can impact a child immediately as well as follow them into their future. Some of the more common consequences include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Bone and/or joint issues
- Eating disorders
If you suspect that your child may fall into the overweight or obese category, the first step is to have him or her assessed by your family doctor. Your Family Medical has Lewisville doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Boyd, Bedford and Benbrook) who can help with establishing whether your child is at risk. They can also help you create a customized healthy action plan for your whole family.
Spend More Time Outdoors
As technology and screen-related entertainment becomes more and more accessible, studies
are showing the increased importance of time in nature. Kids who spend more time outdoors tend to be healthier and more active, which helps them to achieve and maintain an appropriate weight. In addition to that, time spent outdoors offers other benefits, such as:
- Increased creativity/curiosity
- Lowered anxiety
- Improved coordination
- Longer attention span
- Stronger social skills
Get Kids Involved in Meal Prep
While it may make meal preparation a bit messier and more tedious, we highly recommend getting your kids in the kitchen with you as early as possible. When parents normalize home cooked meals as a consistent part of their childhood, there’s a greater chance it will follow them into adulthood. Make cooking and baking fun – speak about it more as a science experiment or art project than food preparation.
It’s also a good idea to involve your children in the grocery shopping process. Teach them how to make healthy food selections by shopping the perimeter of the store, placing a priority on fresh, vibrant food choices. As they get older, be sure to point out how important it is to read labels and identify wholesome, natural ingredients that they can pronounce.
Make Healthy Sleep a Priority
Our team recently wrote about three ways adults can get a better night’s sleep This is even more critical for growing children! The Sleep Foundation shares research that proves children who are consistently low on sleep are more likely to gain weight. They also identified late bedtimes as a factor that is linked to poor food choices and low diet quality. Here are three key ways to ensure your son or daughter is getting good quality sleep:
- Create a consistent bedtime routine. This includes stopping screentime well before bedtime and implementing an easy-to-repeat process or rhythm for getting ready for bed.
- Make the sleep environment as relaxing as possible. Have your child help you turn their room into a place where they feel comfortable snuggling into. This includes comfortable bedding, as little light as possible and a good temperature.
- Spend time together before bed. Have a family game night or read a chapter or two of a story together right before bed. These moments together will give your children a sense of security and comfort before drifting off to sleep for the night.
It can become tedious to have separate medical providers among your family. Traveling to different medical offices can take a toll on your schedule and consistency in quality among different providers can be variable. Our medical professionals offer consistent, top-tier quality care that you can trust, all with the convenience of commuting to a single office for both you and your whole family. Contact us today to schedule at any one of our four convenient Texas locations: Benbrook, Bedford, Boyd or Lewisville.