With so many children today at risk for obesity, where can concerned parents and health professionals get credible advice on how to instill healthy food and exercise habits? Here are two new free resources that fit the bill:
Helping Your Overweight Child is a four-page fact sheet coauthored by experts from the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation. It is chock-full of practical advice on how to eat meals together as a family; ways to encourage kids to forgo fast food in favor of healthier options; and how to avoid using food as a reward with overweight kids. Also included are healthy snack ideas plus suggestions for physical activities that kids will love. The brochure is available free in print form by calling (877) 946-4627, or it can be downloaded off the Internet at www.niddk.nih.gov/health/nutrit/pubs/helpchld.htm.
Leader’s Guide to Healthy Eating & Active Living for Kids & Families is another IFIC Foundation resource that targets health professionals, educators and community youth organizations who work with kids ages 9–12 years. The guide offers strategies for teaching kids about the benefits of healthy food, exercise and family fun. It can be downloaded off the Internet at no cost at http://ific.org/kidnetic.