September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and as a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Santa Barbara Family YMCA offers the following tips to help families in Santa Barbara incorporate regular physical activity and healthy eating into their lives.
The following tips will not only help families live healthier together but help prevent childhood obesity as well:
» Eat healthy: Make water the drink of choice (supplemented by age-appropriate portions of 100 percent fruit juices and low-fat milk) and make it easy for everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options. Feel free to mix and match fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables to provide variety.
» 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 three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity.
» Get together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible with kids involved in meal preparation and cleanup. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-on-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.
» Reduce screen time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, 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 to 12 hours per night for kids and seven to eight hours for adults.
Click here for more information on how your family can live a healthy, active life.
— Andrea Opfer is the marketing director for the Santa Barbara Family YMCA.