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Can you make a difference?

H3 teaches Zumba to the HHI Boys and Girls Club

H3 teaches Zumba to the HHI Boys and Girls Club

 

September 2010 will be recognized as the first Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.  Over the past 40 years, childhood obesity has quadrupled in children ages 6 to 11.  This puts 1/3 of America’s children at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and risk of stroke. 

 

It’s gone on far too long, and now congress has named September as Childhood Obesity Awareness month, calling on businesses and individuals to commit to participate in making a positive change.  Whether it’s a commitment to yourself to eat more fruits and vegetables, or organizing a local health fair for the kids in your community, we all can play a role in building a healthier America. 

 

For more ideas, take a look at the following websites:

 

Want to make an impact on children in your community?  Visit this website for ideas:   

–  Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

–  Write letters to your local and state elected officials.

–  Write about the issues on your blog, Facebook and other social media platforms.

–  Have children create their own artwork depicting healthy, active living.

–  Advocate for pocket parks, bike walking trails, safe sidewalks and other amenities that promote healthy physical activity.

–  Encourage local restaurants to provide reasonable food and beverage portion sizes and to increase the availability of low‐calorie, nutritious food items.

–  Take your children to a local farmers market. Have them pick fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors.

 

H3 Volunteering at the HHI Boys and Girls Club

H3 Volunteering at the HHI Boys and Girls Club

 

Learn more about nutrition and get ideas for fun, healthy snacks, check out www.mypyramid.gov.  Here are a few examples:

 

–  Bagel snake ― Split mini bagels in half. Cut each half into half circles. Spread the halves with toppings like tuna salad, egg salad, or peanut butter. Decorate with sliced cherry tomatoes, or banana slices. Arrange the half circles to form the body of a snake. Use olives or raisins for the eyes.

–  Frozen bananas ― Put a wooden stick into a peeled banana. Cut large bananas in half first. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Once frozen, peel off the plastic and enjoy.

–  Frozen graham cracker sandwiches ― Mix mashed bananas and peanut butter, spread between graham crackers and freeze.

–  Ants on a log ― Thinly spread peanut butter on narrow celery sticks. Top with a row of raisins or other diced dried fruit.

 

 

The YMCA offers a free Healthy Family Home starter kit which allows the whole family to be involved with goal setting and planning for new healthy habits.  Get it here.

 

 

A great website with resources for parents, kids, and teens is www.kidshealth.com.  The website is split into a section for each group, addressing the concerns that are most important to them, and each section is written and designed in a way that the parent/child/teen can understand.    A few topics of interest may be: 

 

– Parent site features recipes, articles on positive parenting, and medical information

– Teen Articles about Going to College; Eating Well at Restaurants; Travel Tips; Managing Friendships & Relationships

– Kids quizzes and games on how the body works, health dictionary and Q&A sections

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