#September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and while there is no simple way to help children make healthier food choices, we can teach them, and ourselves, about this very serious and growing health problem in America.

Today, one in six children are obese in our country. With so many distressing issues facing American families today, it is important that we do not lose sight of the importance of protecting the health and well-being of our children during their growing years.

Many factors influence childhood obesity

There are many things that can affect childhood obesity. What the child eats, how much or little physical activity he/she has, metabolism and genetics also play a role along with their home environment, and the community they live in.

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For some children, a lack of sleep can play a part. Limited access to places to go in the community for them to run around and play, easy access to foods that are high in calories like sugary drinks, and the inability to spend money on healthier food choices are also factors.

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions

Childhood obesity has grown to epidemic proportions over the past four decades. Today in America over twelve million adolescents and children are overweight or obese.

This September, the Office of Child Care, part of the office of The Administration for Children and Families, is committed to ensuring the safety and health of all U.S. children.

The Administration for Children and Families believes it is very important that education providers and early care professionals help to maintain a child's health.

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The administration believes it is important that these professionals become the model for healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

What we can do to help

There are things that we can all do to help curb this growing problem. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Prevention suggests brainstorming with children about meal selection and to plan out the week's menu with them.

Bringing children with you to the grocery store and encouraging them to help with choosing snacks and meals is another possible way to help. They can read the ingredients on the back of labels and pick out vegetables and fruits in season.

Let them spend time in the kitchen

It is strongly suggested that we encourage our children to be adventurous by trying out fruits and veggies they have never tried. Let them cook for you, and spend time with you in the kitchen, allowing them to discover new food creations and find out what they taste like.

It is our responsibility, as their caretakers, to help them have a healthy start in life and one that will hopefully last a lifetime. #Health And Safety #Child Obesity