Hamlin Family

Photo provided by Jenn Conley.

Children’s health seems to be a topic that comes up each year, but it rarely gets the attention it needs.

October 1 is Child Health Day, a recognized day that encourages the United States to better the eating habits and physical activity for their children.  Sadly, encouragement is not enough to cause change.

“Let’s Move,” a campaign led by Michelle Obama, was placed in motion to make encouragement into a reality. By changing the school lunch system and inspiring schools to be more active, Michelle managed to inspire people, but did not necessarily make the change she hoped for. A child’s dietary plan is left in the hands of their guardians.

School teach children that they need to eat healthy, but often don’t teach them how. It is important to know what to look for when buying food. While some foods may be high in sugar or even fat, it is good to know what of these are considered healthy.

A key to staying on track with a healthier meal plan for children or yourself is to create a food chart. A food chart will show children how much food, sugar, carbohydrates and fats you take in eat day. Being able to see for themselves what they are consuming may help children understand the importance of eating better and how it will affect them.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that there has been a gradual increase in child obesity since 1999. This steady increase is not only harmful to children, but to adults as well. Bad habits such as bad eating are character traits that affect one’s health.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

To recognize October 1, Children’s Health Day, parents or guardians should make the change in their family’s lives instead of just thinking about it.