The American Heart Association wants families to feel they can, and are fully equipped to, make healthy choices in the home and within their everyday activities – without throwing schedules completely off or leaving wallets empty.
Today, about one in three American kids is considered overweight or obese. To help raise awareness and make parents and caregivers more conscious of their lifestyle choices during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, the Life is Why Family Health Challenge™ will help them take the “controls” back, leaving them feeling empowered to make small moderations in their lifestyle that will lead to bigger, heart-healthy changes down the road.
Broken down into four themed weeks, the challenge is offered by the American Heart Association on its Facebook page, listed as an event, and encourages parents and caregivers, to take the challenge online, with the help of free tools and resources provided to them throughout the week in the forum. This online group also allows parents and caregivers to act as supports to one another during the challenge and participate in peer-to-peer conversations as they share their successes and address areas they feel they may be lacking.
The week-by-week overview of the challenge includes:
- Week 1 –“My Cart is Why”– The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of fruit and vegetable servings every day. Learn how to increase your fruit and veggie consumption on a budget. Make shopping a fun and easy activity for you and your kids.
- Week 2 – “My Glass is Why” – Sugary drinks can cost you your energy and your health, don’t let others sugarcoat your future and let’s make sugary drinks a thing of the past without feeling thirsty.
- Week 3 – “My Taste is Why” – Most adults eat more than double the amount of sodium recommended by the AHA. Tame your taste buds by reducing the sodium in your foods and on your plate. Be sodium aware…if you dare!
- Week 4 – “My Movement is Why” – AHA recommends kids get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every day. Make physical activity fun, simple and memorable with your family. Quick activities that easily integrate into your daily life – no matter your schedule.
Childhood obesity is a sensitive subject and we tend to see that the trend starts at home, but it doesn’t have to. Once parents realize just how easy it is to live healthier without adding extra time to their schedules, it will help them to maintain the changes they made in September throughout 2015 and beyond.
By the end of the challenge, families should finish out the month feeling accomplished and realizing that adopting these four areas into their everyday lives is something that’s easy to attain.
This September, join the American Heart Association, and families across the country, to make a change in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Visit www.heart.org/healthierkids to learn more about the Life is Why Family Health Challenge™ and access the free activities and templates today. Remember, change starts at home and it starts with you as the caregiver of your home.