Annual school break related to weight gain
School is out and it’s only a matter of time before you hear “MOM I’m BORED!!” This summer, be prepared with activities to keep your children from adding to the rising obesity statistics. Research presented at the Obesity journal symposium, uncovered that unhealthy amounts of weight were gained during summer months when compared to the rest of the year when school is typically in session.
Researchers studied more than 18,000 kindergarten through second graders over two years, measuring weights and heights at the beginning and end of each school year. They found more than a 2.5% uptick in obesity and more than 5% increase in overweight over the two years, noting that the increases took place only over the summer break, not during the school year. Researchers suggest solving the problem through improving out of school behaviors like nutrition education programs for parents and more active summer camp options.
Currently it is recommended that Children and Adolescents engage in 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. These could include activities like bike riding, dancing, running, playing active games like sports or freeze tag. Other muscle and bone building activities like climbing the jungle gym, gymnastics and skipping, jumping and hopping are recommended too. Most of all activities should be fun!
- Race around the house- who can do it the fastest?!
- Family bike ride
- Jump rope contest – who can go the longest?
- Play with sidewalk chalk – draw a hopscotch board and play!
- Walk the dog and make some new friends
- Go for a hike and play a nature edition of “I Spy”
- Have a water balloon fight
- Catch fireflies at dusk – see who can get the most
- Fly a kite at the beach or park
- Play “Red Light Green Light 1-2-3” or “Red Rover”
Children will likely come in from summer activities both famished and thirsty! Avoid naughty nibbling by preparing healthy options and have them in plain sight so they can help themselves. We suggest you keep our recipe for Walkabout Salad Cones in your back pocket to make snack time a fun way to eat veggies too.
Published June 1, 2018