NYC Sees Drop in Obesity: What You Can do at Home

January 09, 2012

New York City recently reported lower rates of obesity in school aged kids, what’s the secret and what can you do at home? Find out here

It’s not news that obesity levels in school age children are the highest they’ve ever been and that healthy eating habits contribute to higher rates of success in school age kids; so in light of the success New York is seeing in obesity rates in grade school children (dropped 5.5 percent in the past five years), SupermarketGuru wanted to remind you of things you and your family can do to stay fit and healthy.

What did NYC do? Well, city officials attributed the drop to programs that eliminated deep-fried food and sugary sodas in cafeterias, limited how often junk food could be sold for fund raisers and added low-fat milk and salad bars to school menus, as well as more physical activity.

What can you and your family do? Well, one of the most effective ways of encouraging nutritious eating in children is for the whole family to make adjustments to their eating habits as well as the kinds of foods that fill the refrigerator and cabinets. So, trade junk foods for more healthy fruits and vegetables. Family members are more likely to eat healthier foods if they are in the house; so leave those not-so-healthy foods on the supermarket shelves! Stock your refrigerator with ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables, this way your family is more likely to snack on them.

Healthy eating is for the whole family, and we know it’s not back-to-school time, but the New Year brings a great opportunity for a healthy makeover. Here are some healthy eating tips for the school year:

• Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.

• Try to get your child's school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines.

• Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Restrict your child's soft drink consumption.

• Bring your child grocery shopping with you. Pick and choose foods to go in the lunch box together.

• Some great easy snacks include grapes and berries, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, baby carrots and sliced red peppers – always check to see what’s in season and locally grown.

• Prepare for your weekly meals in advance. Don’t buy food at the last minute. You may end up buying whatever is available, instead of stopping to think of what foods are healthy.

• Be patient with your child’s eating habits. Kids are picky. They may not want to try five new foods at once. However, they may be more willing to try one new food per week.

• Network with the mom’s in the neighborhood on their meal selections. Find out what they are feeding their children. You may grab some great ideas for your kid’s lunchbox!

• Keep track of new products available at your local supermarket. Phil regularly includes great ‘lunch box friendly’ options in the weekly New Product Hits and Misses.

Numerous manufacturers have already begun to develop and deliver healthy products currently available in your local grocery store. Keep your eyes open. There may be a product that both you and your children will enjoy!