Dr. Susan’s Fit and Fun Family Action Plan

By Dr. Susan Bartell

DrSusanCurrent childhood obesity statistics are alarming as over 12% of children 5 and under are obese and over 17% of children 5-19 are obese. Nearly 23% of kids don’t engage in any free-time physical activity, and the typical American child spends about 44.5 hours per week using media outside of school. The economic slump has contributed to this epidemic, as parents have turned to cheap, processed foods. But Dr. Susan Bartell offers parents and children many empowering tools in her new book, Dr. Susan’s Fit & Fun Family Action Plan: 301 Things You Can Do Today.

Start by taking a look at your home life – sometimes family patterns can make your child overweight! Ask yourself if your family does any of the following:

Do you belong to the ‘Clean Plate Club’? Many of us grew up this way, but kids need to pay attention to their bodies. When you ask them to finish everything on their plate, they override their own ‘STOP’ signal and will keep eating even when they’re satisfied.

Are you a “forbidden foods” family? When you deprive your child of all the foods they like (cookies, candy etc) they will sneak them when you’re not looking and eat much more than they should. Rather, don’t deprive, teach moderation

Are you a ‘snacking is sweeter’ family? This is the opposite of a ‘forbidden foods’ family. If your kids are always snacking, they’re probably not hungry for healthy meals. Limit snacks to two a day, one healthy and one less healthy, but still a single portion.

Are you a super-busy, ‘fast-living, fast food’ family? Too much fast food will pack on the pounds. Instead, create your own fast food with healthy cold cuts, yogurts, string cheese and other on the go foods that you can make at home. You’ll save money too!

In Dr. Susan’s Fit & Family Action Plan: 301 Things You Can Do Today, you will find 6 quizzes to help you determine your family food habits and suggestions for alternative eating and living. Here is the Fast Living, Fast Food Quiz: