Reducing childhood obesity has moved far beyond the individual families affected and become a national movement. Within Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, there are five pillars that provide the basis for helping families live a healthy lifestyle.
This guide is to help you interpret the five pillars of Let’s Move! and integrate them into your daily family life, as explained with ideas and tips from ZisBoomBah:
Pillar 1: Creating a healthy start for children
Make family dinners a priority. Life can be hectic, but aim for at least a few family dinners every week, so that your children have that stability and collective meal time. It’s important to make sharing and communicating a part of your routine, and incorporate nutrition and exercise into the discussion so that kids are aware from an early age. At ZisBoomBah, we follow the 3-S rule: limited amounts of sugar, sodium and saturated fat. This is best shown in ZisBoomBah’s “Pick Chow!”, an online game for your kids to play and create healthy “five star meals.”
Pillar 2: Empowering parents and caregivers
Knowledge is key! If you don’t know what nutrients your child needs, it will be difficult to ensure they receive them in a balanced diet. Portion sizes are varied depending on age. It is recommended that children eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but that does not mean five pieces of fruit or vegetables. For example, one medium sized apple is actually considered two servings for children ages 5-8 because portion sizes for that age group are half of an adult. For children ages 9-12, the serving size is ¾ of an adult portion.
Did you know?
Every ZisBoomBah recipe includes the recommended
serving size for kids age 5–8, kids age 9–12 and adults!
Pillar 3: Providing healthy food in schools
Pack lunches. This doesn’t have to mean PB & J every day! ZisBoomBah great ideas for homemade hot school lunches. And if your child still comes home complaining someone else has a better lunch? No worries, we have tips to curb lunchbox envy. You can also pre-approve a few days a month when your child can buy lunch at school.
Pillar 4: Improving access to healthy, affordable foods
Cook as a family! It not only saves money and is a fun way to get creative with the ingredients you have in the house, but it is a great opportunity for family bonding as well. Make sure the snacks within your kids reach are healthy and easy. Keep pre-cut and washed fruits and veggies in the front of the fridge. In the pantry, put snacks like pretzels and crackers in pre-proportioned snack bags. Check out our blog post on healthier snack alternatives to the kid favorites.
Pillar 5: Increasing physical activity
Encourage exercising by doing it together. Make every Saturday or Sunday a themed family day, like bike riding or swimming, and try to help your kids get moving every day. Sports are always a great option because they are social events for younger kids as well, but even playing outside or helping with chores can work. The important thing is to get your kids off the couch!