Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: Keep Your Kids Healthy This School Year

With Childhood Obesity Awareness Month falling at the start of back-to-school season, now is a great time for Michigan parents to do everything they can to lower their kids’ risk of obesity. In Michigan, 32.6 percent of children under the age of 17 are overweight or obese, which is higher than the national average at 31.3 percent. In the spirit of wanting everyone to have their best school year, here are some of the best ways to stay healthy as a family.

  • Walk to school. If you live close enough to school to get there on foot, do it! Join forces with your neighbors and friends and walk there together in the morning. It’s the perfect way for you and your child to start the day with some physical activity.
  • Pack lunches. Making sure your kids have nutritious food that they enjoy is key to keeping them healthy (and satisfied!) throughout the week. New ideas for lunches might be hard to think of on the fly, so check out these blogs for inspiration: Healthy School Lunches that Your Kids Will Love, Easy and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids and How to Prepare Quick and Healthy Lunches That Your Kids Will Actually Eat.
  • Establish a bedtime routine. Getting your family into a regular routine at night will help your kids get quality sleep and set your family up for a less stressful morning. Start by doing things to help tone down the energy – like turning off all electronics at least half an hour before bedtime, reading books and dimming the lights. If your kids are still having trouble, start working towards the ideal bed time each night – moving up their bedtime up by 15 minutes each night. This should get you closer to the eight to nine hours of sleep your kids need. Also, reduce stresses of a typical morning by picking out outfits and packing lunches and bags the night before.
  • Get active as a family. Getting everyone into a fitness routine can be tough with busy schedules, but there are many easy, family-friendly activities that you can incorporate into your routines, like going on after-dinner walks, making chores a workout and throwing a family dance party. Read this blog for more inspiration to get active as a group.

How are you planning to keep your family healthy this school year? Tell us in the comments!

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