The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

September 24, 2013

Moving children toward a healthier future

Programs teach families how to stay active and healthy

(Continued)

ANDERSON, Ind. —

Bays suggests being active for an hour a day by doing chores, taking a walk and even playing the Wii — all of which are better than sitting around and doing nothing.

“You have to take things gradually and work it up in levels,” she said. “I think one of the big things in terms of nutrition is portion sizes. A lot of times we do not realize what a portion size is.”

Some of Bays’ daily recommendations include limiting screen time, which she defines as television, computers and handheld devices, to less than two hours a day, consuming no more than 8 ounces of juice and eliminating sugary drinks and consuming only low-fat dairy products.

“It’s a lot for families to think about and why it is so overwhelming,” she said.

Both of the programs offer activities and nutritional information to the participants to help them make healthy choices.

Martin said to be healthy both children and caregivers must be involved. She said some of the activities of the program include learning how to exercise with little to no equipment and hip hop classes that are taught by local pediatricians. She said participants learn how to get creative and make being healthy fun by including such activities as creating obstacle courses using household items like brooms and jump ropes.

“If you teach just the child, that does not solve the problem,” Martin said. “We can’t educate just the child. We have to have the caregivers’ involvement to solve the problem of child obesity.”

Like Traci L. Moyer on Facebook and follow her @moyyer on Twitter, or call 648-4250.

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