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To fight childhood obesity, moms to the rescue

Moms can play a big role in combating America’s childhood obesity epidemic, researchers contend. The key: kids are less likely to be obese if their mothers follow five healthy habits, according to the report from Harvard. The five habits are: eating a healthy diet; exercising regularly; maintaining a healthy body weight; not smoking; and drinking alcohol in moderation.  Read more.

Preventing Childhood Obesity

childhood-obesity

Childhood obesity is a serious problem facing our nation especially here in the Central Florida area. To avoid the health risks associated with childhood obesity, parents should focus on prevention and promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Balance is the key in helping your child and family maintain a healthy weight. A balance between calorie intake, physical activity and normal growth can reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing natural growth and development. These tips from the American Heart Association give us ideas on how to promote a healthy lifestyle within your own family.

 

1. Encourage healthy eating habits by:

  • Include non-fat milk and dairy products
  • Encourage water with all meals
  • Choose lean meats, fish and poultry

 2. Remove calorie-rich temptations. Try these substitutes:

  • A medium–size apple
  • 1-cup carrots with 2 tbsp. hummus
  • 1-cup blueberries

 3. Help kids stay active by: 

  • Brisk walking
  • Jumping rope
  • Swimming

4. Reduce sedentary time by:

  • Limit “screen time” no more than 2 hours a day
  • Encourage fun family activities
  • No TV for kids age 2 or younger

 

In treating most overweight children, the main emphasis should be to prevent weight gain above what’s appropriate for expected increases in height. The importance of continuing healthy lifestyle changes should be emphasized to the entire family.

Do you have tips of your own?  Leave them in the comment section below, post them on our Facebook or tweet them to us at@HealthyKids2Day.

5 Sleep Tips for Children

child-with-sleep-problems

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in the quality of life. Either having too much sleep or not enough seems to be a trending concern for parents. Kids and teens need enough sleep to help them grow, ward off sickness and to think clearly and remember things. The benefits of enough rest are evident in both mental and physical health. The recent release from an ongoing federally sponsored survey prompts us to take a closer look at what we know about this topic. Check out these five tips from Child Trends to help your kids get a better night of sleep.

 

1. Most children are getting adequate sleep

Though there is no scientific consensus on the specific amount of sleep children need, here are some general ranges. For infants, around 13 hours per day is average; a typical school-age child sleeps around 10 hours per night, and teens about nine.

2. Sleepiness can be a warning sign

 Inadequate sleep (as indicated by daytime sleepiness) has negative effects on multiple areas of performance and well-being. Both the duration of sleep and its quality are associated with children’s health and behavior, including their school achievement, risk for injury, emotional well-being and overall health. There is good evidence that sleepiness, regardless of its origins, puts youth at risk for unintentional injuries and, for adolescents who are drivers, increases likelihood of motor vehicle crashes.

3. The relationship between short sleep duration and overweight is controversial

Multiple studies report significant associations between children that are overweight tend to sleep less, and vise versa for children younger than five. A number of researchers recommend that we look seriously at improving sleep as a strategy for preventing obesity.

4. Use of electronic media, particularly in the bedroom, can lead to poor quality of sleep

There may be multiple factors underlying this relationship: the stimulating nature of some media, the displacement by electronic media of time for physical activity, and others. Try cutting out that TV close to bedtime!

5. Adolescents may benefit from later start school-times

In adolescence, normal shifts in their biological clock result in a later-to-bed, later-to-rise pattern. Between 20 and 60 percent of adolescents report daytime sleepiness. Preliminary evidence shows that later starting times are associated with students’ improved attendance, discipline, alertness, mood and health.

 

Do you have tips of your own?  Leave them in the comment section below, post them on our Facebook or tweet them to us at@HealthyKids2Day.

5 Child Care Programs Got Moving with GeoMotion

Five Child Care Programs GeoMotion 1On January 23rd, thirteen directors and teachers of 3-5 year-olds gathered at the Winter Park Community Center to take part in a special training program provided by GeoMotion in partnership with Nemours Florida Prevention Initiative.  Through the use of short videos, GeoMotion is a movement-based product that encourages learning and academic achievement of various subject areas while providing physical activity in the classroom.  Five child care sites including Winter Park Day Nursery, Welbourne Nursery and Kindergarten, Aloma Kids Academy, The Learning Tree and Terrific Kids Child Development Center participated in this training as part of a pilot program for their participated in the Nemours Healthy Habits for Life:  A Child Care Obesity Prevention Initiative.  Each of these sites got moving with the videos and Learnercise mats for themselves before taking it back to incorporate more physical activity in their classrooms.

"Step Up to Healthy Habits” – Aloma ECLC

Aloma Step Up To Healthy Habits 1This year Aloma Early Child Learning Center has been involved in several Nemours programs including one funded locally by WPHF, which focuses on healthy eating and healthy activities. From the middle of January to the middle of February we encouraged families to choose healthy habits each day. This could be eating vegetables or fruit for snack or adding vegetables to a meal or doing a healthy activity with the family such as riding bikes together, or playing outside games together. Each time families did an activity or practiced a healthy eating habit they would capture it on a footprint. A total of 208 footprints were displayed down our hallways to show all the healthy choices everyone has been making at home and in the classroom. Visit the Aloma Early Childhood Learning Center Facebook page to see our Bike Parade on February 20th celebrating our “Step Up to Healthy Habits” campaign.Aloma Step Up To Healthy Habits 2

“Step Up to Healthy Habits” – Aloma ECLC

Aloma Step Up To Healthy Habits 1This year Aloma Early Child Learning Center has been involved in several Nemours programs including one funded locally by WPHF, which focuses on healthy eating and healthy activities. From the middle of January to the middle of February we encouraged families to choose healthy habits each day. This could be eating vegetables or fruit for snack or adding vegetables to a meal or doing a healthy activity with the family such as riding bikes together, or playing outside games together. Each time families did an activity or practiced a healthy eating habit they would capture it on a footprint. A total of 208 footprints were displayed down our hallways to show all the healthy choices everyone has been making at home and in the classroom. Visit the Aloma Early Childhood Learning Center Facebook page to see our Bike Parade on February 20th celebrating our “Step Up to Healthy Habits” campaign.Aloma Step Up To Healthy Habits 2

Protecting Our Kid's Self Image

Self ImageIn today’s ultra-sensitive media environment, our kids are being bombarded with an image of what their bodies should look like that are not necessarily healthy for their self image.  This can affect both girls and boys.  Talking to our kids about their bodies is one of the hardest things parents can do — but the constant bombardment of messages about desirable weight and appearance makes this discussion crucial.  Additionally, talking to our kids about what beauty means of the opposite sex is equally as important so they don’t judge one another to unrealistic standards.  Common Sense Media has put together a list of tips to help address this issue with your kids.

 

Tips for parents of all kids

  • Watch what you say. When you spend a lot of time talking about dieting or criticizing your own body, your daughter is listening. You are still your daughter’s biggest role model. If you take care of yourself, you’ll help your kids appreciate all that our bodies can do.
  • If your kids are struggling with body image, you might share your own insecurities and how you dealt with them. You want your kids to know that you understand. After all, this is just the beginning of a life-long dialogue.
  • Keep an eye on your kid’s social networks, texts, and other online comments.  Today’s kids are living in a constant feedback loop of criticism. They can post, send, and read comments about their friends and themselves instantly — and many take advantage of anonymity and online distance to insult one another’s weight and appearance.
  • Keep an eye on their selfies. No parent wants to see sexy photos of their daughter (or her friends). But selfies are a popular activity with some teens. Explain the risks — and if you can’t get them to stop, at least make sure they use strict privacy settings.

Protecting Our Kid’s Self Image

Self ImageIn today’s ultra-sensitive media environment, our kids are being bombarded with an image of what their bodies should look like that are not necessarily healthy for their self image.  This can affect both girls and boys.  Talking to our kids about their bodies is one of the hardest things parents can do — but the constant bombardment of messages about desirable weight and appearance makes this discussion crucial.  Additionally, talking to our kids about what beauty means of the opposite sex is equally as important so they don’t judge one another to unrealistic standards.  Common Sense Media has put together a list of tips to help address this issue with your kids.

 

Tips for parents of all kids

  • Watch what you say. When you spend a lot of time talking about dieting or criticizing your own body, your daughter is listening. You are still your daughter’s biggest role model. If you take care of yourself, you’ll help your kids appreciate all that our bodies can do.
  • If your kids are struggling with body image, you might share your own insecurities and how you dealt with them. You want your kids to know that you understand. After all, this is just the beginning of a life-long dialogue.
  • Keep an eye on your kid’s social networks, texts, and other online comments.  Today’s kids are living in a constant feedback loop of criticism. They can post, send, and read comments about their friends and themselves instantly — and many take advantage of anonymity and online distance to insult one another’s weight and appearance.
  • Keep an eye on their selfies. No parent wants to see sexy photos of their daughter (or her friends). But selfies are a popular activity with some teens. Explain the risks — and if you can’t get them to stop, at least make sure they use strict privacy settings.

Sleep – Good For The Body And Brain

 

Sleeping child

Most people spend about one-third of their lives asleep, and it is important they do. It has a big impact on the health of the body and the brain.  The Nemours Florida Prevention Initiative recently published the book, “Sleep and Your Child: A Guide for Families” and in it notes “research suggests that not enough sleep in children can have a negative impact on their health, growth, behavior and cognitive development (thinking).”  Here is how sleep impacts the body, according to the guide:

Brain Development

  • promotes ability to follow directions
  • improves attention span and ability to focus
  • increases cognitive and language development
  • 90% of a child’s brain development occurs before age 5
  • some scientiststhink the brain sorts through and stores information as well as solves problems during sleep

Behavioral and Emotional Health

  • reduces tantrums or “meltdowns” by better regulating a child’s emotions
  • enables better adjustment to preschool setting
  • lowers levels of aggression

Immune System

  • boosts the immune system and helps fight off illness

Physical Growth and Development

  • gives the growing body more energy
  • improves coordination for physical activity
  • allows release of growth hormones
  • lack of sleep is linked to obesity and diabetes

 

The guide also provides guidelines on sleep required by children, but notes requirements vary by child. For children from birth to six months—the recommendation is about 16 to 20 total hours a day; six months to a year—about 11 hours at night, plus two daytime naps totaling three to four hours; for ages one to three—10 to 13 hours, plus an afternoon nap of one to three hours; for ages three to five—10 to 12 hours at night, plus an afternoon nap. (Most preschoolers give this up by age five); and for ages five-12—10 to 12 hours at night.

 

Pro Event Calendar

Healthy Kids Running Series

Place
Audubon Park Elementary School
1750 Common Way Rd
Orlando, FL US 32814
Description

The Healthy Kids Running Series is a five (5) week running program in the spring and fall for kids from Pre-K to 8th grade. Each Race Series takes place once a week and offers age appropriate running events including the 50 yard dash, the 1/4 mile, the 1/2 mile and the one mile run. Kids compete each week of the Series for a chance to earn points and at the end of the Series the top boy and girl with the most points in their respective age division receive a trophy. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run because all participants receive a medal and gift bag for their achievements courtesy of our sponsors!

The registration fee of $35 covers the entire five (5) week series.

For more information and to register, click here

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click here