Childhood Obesity | West Suburban YMCA

September Is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Erin Whitten

Aug 29, 2023

September holds a unique position on the calendar. Not only does it mark the onset of a fresh academic year for many children and their families, but it also observes Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. As the pages of the calendar flip and new routines emerge, let's join hands with our community members to ensure the well-being of families, championing a lifestyle where health is paramount.

1. Hydration and Nutrition – The Cornerstones of Health:

  • Prioritize Water: Transition to making water the default drink at home. This simple shift can have profound health benefits.
  • The Rainbow Plate: Color your plate with a diverse array of fruits and vegetables. Engage in a fun weekly ritual by choosing a unique fruit or vegetable for the family to try.
  • Accessibility is Key: Always have water on hand, whether it’s a pitcher at the dinner table or bottles in the car and backpacks.


2. Embrace the Great Outdoors:

  • Unstructured Playtime: Foster creativity and physical well-being by ensuring kids get at least 60 minutes of free play outside daily.
  • Heart-Pumping Fun: Three times a week, participate in activities that raise your heart rate. It's even better when enjoyed together as a family.


3. Cherishing Mealtime Connections:

  • Family Dinners: Aim to have meals together. It’s a priceless opportunity to strengthen bonds.
  • Involve the Kids: From planning to preparation and even cleaning, involving children in the meal process can be both educational and fun.
  • Digital Detox: Engage in genuine face-to-face interactions. Dedicate time each day, free from electronic distractions, to connect with your children.


4. Mindful Screen Time:

  • Set Limits: A maximum of two hours of recreational screen time is advisable. Develop a family pact to minimize electronic usage, especially during meals.
  • Healthy Habits: Consider stowing away electronics at night in common areas like the kitchen, or set reminders to take regular screen breaks.

5. Prioritize Restful Sleep:

  • Establish Routines: Both adults and children thrive on regular sleep patterns. Create a calming pre-sleep ritual, like reading or listening to soothing tunes.
  • Know the Numbers: Children require a restful 10-12 hours of sleep, while adults should aim for 7-8 hours.