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

This school year brings a variety of new challenges. As you’re navigating a back-to-school season that might look very different, it’s important to keep a focus on keeping your kids as healthy as possible.

September marks Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. 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 or take exercise breaks during the day. If you live close enough to school to get there on foot, do it! It’s the perfect way for you and your child to start the day with some physical activity. If your child is taking classes virtually, make a lunchtime walk part of your routine.
  • Make lunches healthy and fun. 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 ideas to pack or make at home.
  • 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 toward the ideal bedtime by moving it up by 15 minutes each night. This should get you closer to the eight to nine hours of sleep your kids need. Also, reduce the stress of a typical morning by picking out outfits and packing lunches and bags the night before or establishing a schedule with tasks to finish for kids staying home to learn.
  • 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 routine, 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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Photo credit: fizkes

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