Obesity is becoming a big problem for many American children, including babies and toddlers. Many have even become too heavy for their car seats. In a recent study, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that 25 percent of U.S. children ages 1 to 6 are heavier than weight limits for standard car seats.
Here are some tips for encouraging regular physical activity and a healthy diet to help children maintain an ideal weight:
- Make sure your child eats at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
- Know what your child is eating outside the home, at school or day care meals.
- Have special “family time” that is physically active, such as walking the family dog or spending Sunday afternoon at a local park. Community centers and parks often host free summer events and programs for families.
- Limit TV, video games and computer to no more than two hours each day.
- Encourage active play for young children. An ideal level of physical activity is about 30 minutes to one hour per day.