September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month which stresses the importance of children practicing a healthy life style. But maintaining these healthy habits like eating healthy and exercising regularly takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Soda and sweets act as the top temptations that many children and even adults have trouble with.
Parents in Texoma say it's all about making smart decisions at the grocery store and how they prepare the food for their children.
"It's very important especially at an age when my son is growing. He needs all the strength and vitamins that he needs to grow" Natalie Thompson, parent of one boy said.
As a mother of five, Shilo Fuller has her children eat lots of vegetables and get exercise on a regular basis.
"My children all do sports. We have lots of outside activities like walking the dog, riding bikes, and swimming. Anything we can do to be outdoors" she said.
But keeping up with these healthy habits doesn't come east. Some parents faced problems that they couldn't control.
"For me, it was time and having the time when I got home off of work to fix them something healthy" said Nancy Brasfield, parent of two.
"My son loves to drink a lot of sodas and eat a lot of ice cream… stuff he wasn't allowed to eat at home. So when he's out he'd eat a lot, mostly sweets" said parent of one, Severne Cudjo.
Despite these obstacles, parents say they refuse to be thrown off the healthy track. That's why they came up with some solutions to cut out the fatty foods.
"If we don't have it available, they don't want it. So just don't buy it. Don't buy a lot of the candy" said Fuller.
Here are some helpful tips that will help prevent childhood obesity:
- Eat Healthy: Make water the drink of choice. (supplemented by age-appropriate portions of 100% fruit juices and low-fat milk)
- Play Every Day / Go Outside: Kids should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least 3 times a week by getting 20 minutes of more of vigorous physical activity.
- Get Together: Eat as a familt as frequently as possible with kids involved in meal preparation and clean up.
- Reduce Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours per day.
- Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule 10-12 hours per night for kids and 7-8 hours for adults.
National statistics show that one in eight preschoolers is obese. So in an effort to combat childhood obesity, the YMCA of Wichita Falls will be hosting a Kid's Triathlon. The event will be on September 14th at 10:30AM at the Bill Bartley Family YMCA. For more information on the triathalon, call 940-322-7816 or visit www.ymcawf.org .