At the Childhood Healthy Eating and Active Living (C-HEAL) Center, we work with children, adolescents, and their families to establish healthier lifestyle habits to treat overweight and obesity. Often times, we see families setting guidelines for some family members, but not all. A family making health changes together will be more successful in accomplishing their goals, and everyone in the home can reap the health benefits of doing so. Here are a few tips for working together as a team to set the whole family on the path to a healthier tomorrow!
Here are a few family-friendly ideas to get you started:
- Be active together:
- Take a walk after dinner
- Ride bikes after school
- Explore a new park or trail on the weekend
- Walk the dog together
- Put on music and dance inside
- Practice sports together (outside of team practice times)
- Have an indoor snowball fight (ball up white socks and get throwing!)
- Play Frisbee golf in the yard (designate targets and see who can reach it in the fewest throws)
- Try a new activity together (rock climbing, hiking, paddling)
- Play balloon volleyball in the family room
- Give gifts that promote activity, not sedentary time
- Monitor screen time:
- Have a “no electronics” night once a week. Instead, play games, have a family outing, or be active together.
- Collect all devices prior to bedtime. This will prevent late-night screen time, which interrupts needed sleep.
- Monitor use of screen time. Use apps that allow parental control of internet access, app access, and screen time usage.
- Forbid devices at meals (parents too!) This will allow for family conversation and mindful eating (e.g. eating slowly and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues).
- Explore new foods together:
- Try a new fruit or vegetable once a week (or a new way to prepare one)
- Plan meals as a family
- Involve children in shopping and meal preparation
- Try a food from another culture (at home or out)
- Challenge family members to find a new, healthy recipe and have a taste test
To discuss concerns about pediatric overweight or obesity or learn more about healthy lifestyle habits for your family, contact (423) 778-KIDS to schedule an appointment at The Childhood Healthy Eating and Active Living Center (C-HEAL).