Most obese adults started as overweight kids. Researchers have found that to initiate good health habits as adults you need to start when children are in preschool, between the ages of 3 to 5. This is a critical window to teach important, lifelong health habits.
- Kids need to understand how their bodies work. Good food equals a healthy body, strong bones, and fewer illnesses, such as colds
- Healthy food habits equal a healthy you. Explain why fruits and vegetables are good for you, rather than simply demanding they be eaten. Explain why too much soda and candy are not the best choices, but don’t forbid them altogether. Teach moderation and enjoyment of all foods.
- Provide good emotional habits and coping skills for life’s stresses. Positive emotional health helps kids avoid addictive behavior as they get older. Overeating can become an addictive behavior.
- Stress physical activity – not just team sports but simple everyday activity like walking, bike riding, and swimming. Kids should run and play every day. Be a good role model. Kids with active parents are more likely to be active themselves. Play with your kids.