Obesity in Children: What Can Parents Do?

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I’ve tried to provide a lot of tips, tricks, and information about how to help your child either prevent or fight child obesity.  It’s tough to keep track of all of the guidelines for keeping a child healthy through diet and exercise.  I feel Dr. Paul Thomas, a pediatrician, does an excellent job of summarizing these guidelines in his video “Obesity in Children: What Can Parents Do?”.

Dr. Thomas highlights three key aspects:

  • Eat whole foods
  • Avoid artificially sweetened products
  • Do everything you can to get your child active

Our bodies were designed for us to eat whole foods.  A good rule of thumb Dr. Thomas provides is “living off the land”.  If it can be grown in the earth, then it is most likely healthy for us to eat with minimum consequences as far as weight gain goes.  Some examples of these foods are fruits and vegetables…yum!

Artificially sweetened products include anything that claims to be “diet”.  These foods cause our insulin to pump at extreme levels. As our insulin pumps, we gain more and more fat storage.  Not exactly what you thought when you bought the diet version is it?

Lastly, Dr. Thomas says we need to do anything we can to get our children to exercise.  He describes it perfectly by saying, “energy in needs energy out”.  This means that you have to have a way to burn off all the calories, or energy, we intake or they’ll take a permanent residence on our waistlines in the form of love handles.  No one wants that for their children (or themselves)!

Hopefully his video helps to simply summarize what needs to be done to keep your children healthy!  You can watch his other videos here.


Image source:

http://www.indoindians.com/component/k2/item/42404-of-parents-and-children

The Road to a Healthier Thanksgiving

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Can you believe that Thanksgiving is already right around the corner?  Thanksgiving dinner is probably the most anticipated and traditional meal of the year.  With it comes bloating, sleepiness, and maybe even a couple extra pounds.  Looking for ways to cut down on calories this Thanksgiving? Maybe you should be.  The average person eats 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving (3,000 come from the mean and 1,500 from drinks and snacks).  4,500 calories.  Wow!   Here’s some information to help you get on the right track to a healthier meal and fewer calories.

Some tips and tricks:

  • Drink water with your meal
  • Use spices and herbs instead of sugars and salts
  • Have fruits for desserts instead of pies (gasp!)
  • Use recipes with pureed fruits instead of butter and oils
  • Use skim evaporated milk instead of heavy cream (less fat)
  • Fill 1/4 the plate with vegetables
  • Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour
  • Use less gravy (a little bit goes a long way)

A snack for the kids:

Try out this fun turkey!  It’s a healthy way to hold them over until dinner and they can even help out with making it.

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Side dishes under 200 calories:

For healthy, traditional Thanksgiving side recipes check out the Healthy Thanksgiving Menu.

Healthier desserts:

While you cook dinner, the kiddos in your family can fit in some exercise!  Have them do the “ABCs of yoga for kids” poses.  They’re fun, kid-friendly, and will keep them calm and quiet (hopefully).

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With Thanksgiving just under a week away, there’s no better time than now to make the change to a healthier lifestyle.  Why not make your first healthy meal be the most looked-forward to meal of the year?

Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating!

For more recipes/information visit:

Thanksgiving foods board on the KidsGetHealthy Pinterest

100 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Turkey Done Light

Guide to Planning a Healthy Thanksgiving


Tips and tricks source: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/downloads/infographics/2013-HolidayMakeover.pdf

Image sources (in order of appearance): http://happythanksgivingpictures-2014.com/happy-thanksgiving-clip-art-pictures-crafts-activities-project-images-clipart-2014/

http://www.topinspired.com/top-10-fun-and-healthy-edible-thanksgiving-centerpieces/

http://www.medimiss.net/2012/07/yoga-for-kids.html