Hello. Welcome to the Blue Door Neighborhood Center. My name is Nicoya and I serve as one of the health educators with our Pullman location. If this is your first time visiting us, welcome. And let me take a few seconds to just tell you a little bit more about the blue door neighborhood center.
We are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois's first ever neighborhood center, and we are committed to positively impacting community health. We do so in a variety of ways through virtual and in-person programing offered to anyone in the community at no cost.
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and the Blue Door Neighborhood Center recognizes and highlighted childhood obesity as a part of our family and parent and child wellness initiatives. We want to highlight some of the impacts of childhood obesity on the family and community health.
And while there is no simple solution, there are ways individuals and communities can support children and their families along their health journey to good health. It is absolutely important to recognize and bring awareness to childhood obesity, because childhood obesity is a major public health problem.
According to the CDC, one in five children has obesity, and that's in the United States. What's even more alarming is that some children have obesity at higher rates than others. Let's talk about what obesity is. When I say obesity, I mean weight that is higher than what is considered normal for that weight, height and body type.
Typically, clinicians use the BMI or the body mass index as a screening tool to determine if someone is overweight or not. We care about childhood obesity because children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health issues like diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint issues, and even type two diabetes.
They are also at higher risk for heart disease because of things like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. So let's even talk about the social and emotional effects of obesity. Children with obesity can be bullied or teased more than their peers with a normal weight.
They are even more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression or lower self-esteem. Here's the fact that may be a little bit difficult to swallow. Children with obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity. And as you can imagine, this is a challenge because the adults can then lead a life long health journey that is both
challenging physically and mentally. These are just a few of the reasons why childhood obesity is a major public health issue. There are many factors that have an impact on childhood obesity. Let's talk about a few of those. One, there's not enough time being spent being physically active, and that could also mean there's not a lot of places
where children can go and have a safe space to exercise. Another factor here. Lack of sleep. Another factor that we often don't think about is access to healthy, nutritious foods. While these are just a few of the factors, there are many more.
And we'll talk about them in the slides to come. You've heard the comment saying it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a village to address childhood obesity. That means parents and caregivers can take an active role starting right at home to address childhood obesity.
This looks like making sure that there is access to healthy and nutritious foods. That looks like. Helping to monitor and manage their children's growth, and it also looks like being a model for healthy lifestyle factors like exercise, good eating habits, even getting good sleep and rest.
Let's talk a little bit about what providers can do to help address childhood obesity. This can look like providers measuring and monitoring children's weight, height and BMI over time, also providing families with great resources to connect on support services, nutrition, education and even healthy weight programs as needed, of course.
And then let's talk a little bit about what the community collectively can do to make sure that children are preventing childhood obesity. One of those things is ensuring that neighborhoods have low cost physical activity opportunities. Think about your parks, your trails, your bike trails, your community centers offering easy access that are safe and open and free.
Another option is to offer water. That's right. Water as a feasible option for non sugary drinks. Think about what early child care or education centers can offer. They can provide support to children by providing nutritious, healthy eating, providing regular physical activity and limiting that screen time.
These are just a few examples of what we can all do as a village to ensure our children are at a healthy weight and leading healthy lifestyles. Now I'd like to share five healthy tips that we can all do starting today.
Yes. Today to make sure that our children are preventing childhood obesity. Are you ready? Grab a pen, grab a notebook and jot down some notes as you go, and then share those notes with a family or friend. It's going to be some useful information here.
Tip number one, start every day with a hearty breakfast. That's right. This is the meal that gives you a boost to the start of your day. It helps your child to feel and act their best and do their best in school.
Who doesn't want to feel and act their best every day? Breakfast can also help with weight control. And even if you have a picky eater at home, you can start by starting small, by introducing small new foods at a time.
Think a little bit of yogurt with a little bit of fruit. Try that next time your little one doesn't want to try a new meal. Tip number two. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That's right.
Five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. You may be familiar with my plate, which says that at every meal, 50 percent of our plate should be fruits and vegetables. Well, that also means you should be receiving five servings.
Five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. You can make sure that your fruits and vegetables are in season so that they're at their freshest. You can also try frozen when you can't get them fresh, but make sure.
Make sure. Always make sure that you're using foods that don't have added sugar or added salt or added fat. All right. What about using fruits and vegetables as healthy snacks? Absolutely. A great opportunity to incorporate more fruits and vegetables before or after school.
All right. I'm a little hungry now, but I think we're ready to go to tip number three. Tip number three talks about limiting your screen time. It's often forgotten, but is super important. You should plan on being active.
You should plan your sleep and you should plan your healthy behaviors first. And then if you have extra time, you can squeeze in a little screen time. But for the most part, you should make guidelines around how much the quantity and what the quality of media you're entering into your child's minds.
Parents make sure to turn off the TV and keep those screens away during meal time. And you might even want to make it a common practice to view the media with your children whenever possible. You should even avoid screen time for our children under 18 months and limit it to just one hour for those between the ages
of two and five. Of course, these are just recommendations, but something to consider when addressing childhood obesity. Let's move on to tip number four. We're making our way, guys. Number four says be active for at least one hour every day.
Who's ready to get moving? I am. Well, we encourage our children to be active every day for at least 60 Minutes. You can add more physical activity by doing things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around the house or neighborhood.
Choosing games are toys that incorporate some physical activity. These are just a few examples of ways to incorporate more activity without even leaving the house. Other things you can do that are no cost or very low cost are jumping rope, playing tag, walking the dog after or before school, throwing a Frisbee, playing sports at your local
community center. These are just some few options. And here at the Blue Door Neighborhood Center, we offer low impact fitness virtually and in person. So stay tuned for family fitness classes and events that will be fun for the entire crew.
Let's get into tip number five. Rethink your drink. That's right. Rethink your drink. Water is the absolute best choice when your child is thirsty, so it might be a good practice to keep some water on hand when you're away from the house.
And it's also a good practice to transition to a more water focused diet by adding water to fruit juices that you may already be accustomed to. You can encourage things like low fat milk instead of the sugar sweetened drinks.
Soda, sports drinks and any energy drinks say no to sugary drinks. So let's summarize what we talked about so far. We gave five tips that any of us can implement today to help address and to help prevent childhood obesity.
Number one, start every day with breakfast. Number two, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Number three, limit that screen time. Number four, be active for at least 60 minutes per day. And number five, rethink your drink.
Water is the absolute best option. So when thinking about those, you might be a little bit challenged to incorporate these changes into your daily lives now. So I want to provide just a few more tips on how you as a family can come together to make healthier choices.
One connect around meal times. Sit down together as a family for a meal. Turn the TV off, put the screens away, and you can just unplug, interact and focus on one another. Plan your meals together. This can help to reduce stress and to be very productive and on top of things, and also the kids will love being
involved in the planning process. That's right. Let everyone help kids learn by doing so. Younger kids can mix ingredients that can wash off the fruits and vegetables. They can set the table while the older kids can help with the ingredients.
But everyone can have a responsibility at dinner and everyone is involved. Serve of a variety of foods. So remember that my plate. You want to make sure you're hitting a balanced meal and that incorporates 50 percent of that plate be fruits and vegetables.
But it also incorporates a protein a grain and even options for a healthy drink. All right. Sometimes you just have to let the kids choose, allowing the children to be engaged with the meal preparation at home is a great option, and you can serve meals, family style, and that will encourage kids to be creative with their plates
. All right, last tip here, and I think is a really good one, offered none food rewards. So foods aren't the only rewards that kids like younger kids may enjoy gathering points towards a special outing. Or you can earn extra dollars.
Whatever might be good for your family could help but think about options outside of the food groups. These are just a few extra tools and tips that can help for healthy eating for the entire family. OK, we don't want to leave you today without giving you some great resources.
Here are a few websites that we want you to visit just today and take some time to learn some new and exciting tips on making your family healthy. And while you're visiting websites, please don't forget to connect with us at the Blue Door Neighborhood Center by visiting www.BlueDoorCenterIL.com and follow
us on Facebook at BlueDoorCenterIl. We have a host of classes and program is waiting for you and your family. We cannot wait to connect with you and we'll see you soon. Have a great day.
Sep. 1, 2021
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Join health educator Nicaya Rapier in this 16-minute video to help you understand the importance of this major public health concern.
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