Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

New AAP Guidelines for Teens

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently announced new guidelines for pediatricians and parents to help teens avoid both the development of eating disorders and obesity. AAP’s recommendations include discouraging dieting, skipping meals and the use of diet pills. Instead, experts recommend promoting a positive body image by promoting a balanced diet and exercising for fitness rather than weight loss; encouraging more frequent family meals; and avoiding talking about weight all together.

Although it is something we already know, it seems that for many of us, healthy balance isn’t easily achieved. Physical activity is sometimes perceived as something that isn’t fun and healthy eating is often thought to be boring or not as tasty, and perceptions are hard to shake. So to make a change, we need to start by changing those perceptions. This month’s Healthy Kids Challenge WOWS Newsletters and blogs will focus on developing appeal for healthy balance. It starts with positive messages and role-modeling and extends to demonstrating options everywhere kids go and finally, helping students and families set goals for practicing healthy habits.

Whenever possible, Healthy Kids Challenge demonstrates how to make the connection between healthy eating and physical activity for healthy balance. In the first October newsletter, suggestions are made to use role-modeling…connecting athletes and coaches to nutrition education.