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Jamie has this week presented the Government with his own recommendations to combat the rising levels of childhood obesity in the UK. Read the six main points to his strategy here.
1) THE CHILDREN’S HEALTH LEVY
We are suggesting a 20p levy per litre on all sugary soft drinks as these are the largest single source of sugar consumption for school-age children and teenagers. Crucially, the money raised would be ring-fenced to go towards food education programmes and initiatives to help prevent diet-related disease. Far from being a “tax on the poor”, this aims to improve health by encouraging people to drink water or no-sugar drinks, which are cheaper (or free).
This is the gradual process of reducing the sugar in foods and drinks over time so that people don’t notice the change because their taste buds slowly adapt to the new recipes. This has happened successfully with salt over the past few years. We are suggesting the compulsory reformulation of high-sugar products, overseen by a new COBRA-style committee within parliament.
The labelling of food needs to be much clearer and standardised so that people know exactly what to look for on pack. Traffic light labelling is one of the simplest ways to show people what products actually contain and should be made mandatory.
4) THE SCHOOL FOOD PLAN
Food education in schools must remain a priority but furthermore, the 17 actions of the School Food Plan need to be fully supported by government and we should also bring in food standards for packed lunches as, currently, only 1% of lunches brought in from home would meet the minimum nutritional standards set for cooked school lunches.
A ban on the advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods to children, and responsible in-store marketing of high-fat, -salt and -sugar products should be introduced. In addition, supermarkets should be incentivised to work more closely with organisations that can get nutritious fresh food to lower-income families.
6) NATIONAL CHILD MEASUREMENT PROGRAMME
This existing programme should be extended so that the earliest signs of obesity can be spotted and preventative measures put in place, sensitively and with the full support of school leaders.
To read Jamie’s full strategy, download it here.
Jamie Oliver launches global petition to combat childhood obesity
In Sydney to launch a global change.org petition to combat childhood obesity by introducing compulsory food education in schools, Oliver shared the stage with chef Stephanie Alexander.
“With diet-related diseases rising at an alarming rate, it has never been more important to educate children about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies,” said Oliver.
“This isn’t about a Pommy coming in. I’m just creating the platform and noise around the world,” he said.
Alexander believes that using “a kitchen garden is a great way of changing how children relate to food … If they’ve got hands on experience of growing it, picking it, chopping it, cooking it and sitting down and eating what they’ve made, then they will be changed for ever.”
Alexander’s not-for-profit has signed up more than 800 Kitchen Garden schools since she piloted the idea at Collingwood College, Melbourne, in 2001.
Oliver says the big mission is to take kitchen garden programs from the “nice to have” basket to a “must have” – from opt-in programs at “lucky” schools to food education that is mandatory and properly funded in every school.
“Our global petition starts in Australia, but it’s also about all the governments in the G20,” said Oliver during the press conference. “We want all politicians to know that we are tired of what’s happening. Diet-related disease is one of the biggest killers in our countries and a quarter of our young children are overweight or obese. I think the parents of the world want to fix it, and crack on with life.”
Scale of the obesity problem
Nearly two-thirds of adults (63%) in England were classed as being overweight (a body mass index of over 25) or obese (a BMI of over 30) in 2015.
In England, the proportion who were categorised as obese increased from 13.2% of men in 1993 to 26.9% in 2015 and from 16.4% of women in 1993 to 26.8% in 2015. The rate of increase has slowed down since 2001, although the trend is still upwards.
The prevalence of obesity is similar among men and women, but men are more likely to be overweight.
In 2015 to 2016, 19.8% of children aged 10 to 11 were obese and a further 14.3% were overweight. Of children aged 4 to 5, 9.3% were obese and another 12.8% were overweight. This means a third of 10 to 11 year olds and over a fifth of 4 to 5 year olds were overweight or obese.
In summary, nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer.
It is estimated that obesity is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year. On average, obesity deprives an individual of an extra 9 years of life, preventing many individuals from reaching retirement age. In the future, obesity could overtake tobacco smoking as the biggest cause of preventable death.
Obesity increases the risk of developing a whole host of diseases. Obese people are:
- at increased risk of certain cancers, including being 3 times more likely to develop colon cancer
- more than 2.5 times more likely to develop high blood pressure - a risk factor for heart disease
- 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
The costs of obesity
Failing to address the challenge posed by the obesity epidemic will place an even greater burden on NHS resources. It is estimated that the NHS spent £6.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill-health in 2014 to 2015.
Annual spend on the treatment of obesity and diabetes is greater than the amount spent on the police, the fire service and the judicial system combined.
More broadly, obesity has a serious impact on economic development. The overall cost of obesity to wider society is estimated at £27 billion.
The UK-wide NHS costs attributable to overweight and obesity are projected to reach £9.7 billion by 2050, with wider costs to society estimated to reach £49.9 billion per year.
Obesity and health inequalities
No one is ‘immune’ to obesity, but some people are more likely to become overweight or obese than others. The Marmot review highlights that income, social deprivation and ethnicity have an important impact on the likelihood of becoming obese.
There is a strong relationship between deprivation and childhood obesity. Analysis of data from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP ) shows that obesity prevalence among children in both Reception and Year 6 increases with increased socioeconomic deprivation (measured, for example, by the 2010 Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) score). Obesity prevalence in the most deprived 10% of children is approximately twice that of the least deprived 10%.
On average, there are more fast food outlets in deprived areas than in more affluent areas.
People from certain ethnic groups, such as south Asians, are more likely to be overweight and obese, and have a higher susceptibility to particular diseases linked to excess weight, such as type 2 diabetes.
10 point plan
A joint statement focusing on the ten priorities for action that they want to see included in the Government&rsquos childhood obesity strategy, will be published today, including key recommendations:
- Robust restrictions on unhealthy food marketing, including a 9pm watershed for TV advertising of junk food
- Independent set of incremental reformulation targets, backed by regulation for industry to reduce the sugar, saturated fat and salt in our foods
- The government should introduce a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks.
The Obesity Stakeholder Group represents a range organisations including the UK Health Forum, Diabetes UK, Cancer Research UK, Children's Food Campaign, the Royal College of General Practitioners, The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and the British Medical Association.
Though there are many factors that can affect a person&rsquos weight - it does not develop overnight. Consuming high amounts of fat and sugar but not burning enough energy through physical activity will in time result in the body storing it as excess fat.
Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy or calories your body needs to burn in order to function normally. There is a common misconception that overweight and obese individuals have a low metabolic rate, when in fact more often than not, obese individuals have a normal to high metabolic rate - this is because the body uses more energy to carry the excess weight.
One of the primary reasons people gain weight is a result of their diet. When we are eating food our body sends signals to indicate fullness, this sensation can be ignored if we are eating something we enjoy. A recent study found that an area of our brain linked to addiction and reward, lights up when we are faced with carb-rich, fatty foods. Eating what we think to be &lsquorewards&rsquo can be harmful to our health, for example:
- eating large amounts of processed or fast food
- drinking an excess of alcohol
- eating larger portions
- drinking fizzy drinks
- comfort eating.
These foods in excess can result in rapid weight gain products with high sugar and fat content can result in an increased risk of developing health problems later in life. A balanced, calorie-controlled diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables and regular exercise can help reduce the risks and promote healthy weight-loss.
Lack of physical activity
The World Health Organisation&rsquos Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health suggest that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. It may sound like a lot, but think of it in terms of 30 minutes a day, for five days. Regular exercise is manageable, though the unfortunate reality is that many people are either 'too busy' or unwilling to adopt it into their lifestyle.
Physical activity not only helps our body burn off any excess energy which may be stored as fat, it is also necessary to keep our bodies in optimum condition.
Environmental and genetic factors
Though no evidence has been found linking genetics to obesity, it has been revealed that those with either one or both parents classed as overweight, stand a higher risk of becoming obese themselves. This could be due to environment, children may be picking up unhealthy eating habits from their parents although in some cases, it is thought that certain individuals do inherit a tendency to overeat and lack appetite control. It is important to consider how your eating habits can affect those around you, it is thought the dietary habits of parents may be contributing to childhood obesity.
Our brain sends a signal when our body is sensing fullness, but many people do not have the appetite control to acknowledge when to stop.
There are very few individuals who can attribute their weight to a medical cause. Polycystic ovary syndrome and an underactive thyroid can result in weight gain for women - some individuals may also find that side-effects of medication can often cause weight fluctuation.
Use our resources at home or to talk with your child care providers about their programs. Help your family eat more healthy, get your kids moving, limit screen time and get breastfeeding support.
5 Ways to Boost Your Kid’s Gut Health: By the time kids reach school age, the general makeup of their microbiome has been established and will remain with them for years. This resource provides simple guidelines on ways you can boost your kid’s gut health.
6 Simple Steps for the Whole Family to be Heart-Healthy: This resource by the American Heart Association, demonstrates ways to make more time for the whole family to be more heart healthy.
All About Sleep: This resource is for parents who want to discover the appropriate quality and quantity of sleep kids should get.
Dietary Recommendations for Healthy Children: This resource explains the American Heart Association dietary recommendations for infants, children and adolescents in order to promote cardiovascular health.
Healthy Habits for Children and Families: This resource provides an infographic on childhood obesity and tip sheets on how to teach your children healthy habits.
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child’s Healthy Development: These articles from the nonprofit organization Zero to Three provide examples and encouragement for parents and caregivers to understand and nurture child development from birth to 36 months.
How Can Families Be Healthier: This resource describes ways to get the whole family involved with healthy eating habits and activities.
Is Childhood Obesity an Issue in Your Home? This resource will help you and your kids avoid our nation’s unhealthy trend of obesity.
KidsHealth Nutrition and Fitness: KidsHealth from Nemours is the top visited website for children’s health and development. How do you feed a picky eater or encourage a child who loves video games to play outside? Learn how to keep your child healthy with the right foods and physical activity.
Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Healthy Habits: This resource provides ten tips on ways you can help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits.
9 Must-Eat Nutrients for Your Child: This resource provides information on the nine nutrients that every child should be getting on a daily basis.
15 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Better: This resource provides first hand lessons learned from a mother to help you guide your kids to eat better.
Baby Food — How to Make Your Own (video): Interested in making your own baby food? It’s easier than you think. This resource illustrates how you can make your own homemade baby food that adds nutritional benefits for your child.
Cooking Matters: This website is full of resources and recipes to help families cook nutritious meals on a budget and build healthy eating habits.
Cooking With Preschoolers: It may take a little flexibility and prep work, but time in the kitchen with preschoolers can be educational, boost kids’ confidence and promote healthy eating.
Division of Responsibility in Feeding: Children eat as much as they need, they grow in the way that is right for them, and they learn to eat the food their parents eat. Parents can let children learn and grow with eating when they follow these guidelines from the Ellyn Satter Institute.
Eat Right When Money’s Tight: This resource from the USDA provides tips on how to stretch your food dollars by planning ahead, budgeting, making smart food choices, and preparing low-cost recipes.
Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy Food: PBS Parents provides a resource that would make good food choices more attractive for your kids.
Family Checklist for Nutrition in Early Care Education (PDF): This checklist of healthy eating best practices is a great reference as you visit child care and early education programs. Ask about steps they are taking towards childhood obesity prevention. Also available in Spanish
Farm to School Bookshelf: Find books for teaching preschoolers about gardening, cooking, farms and food.
First Aid — Choking: Choking can be a life-threatening emergency. Follow these steps if your child is choking.
Food Allergies: Food allergies can cause serious reactions. Find out how to keep your kids safe and what to do in an emergency.
Healthy Food Shopping: Those tempting displays of tasty snacks and fruity drinks can make it easy to end up with a cart overloaded with stuff that doesn’t offer much nutritional punch. These tips can help you keep the focus on healthy options.
Healthy Foods Under $1 Per Serving: Eating healthy on a budget can seem difficult but it can be done. This resource provide some of healthy foods under $1 that you can incorporate into your weekly menu planning.
How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label (video): These labels, usually found on the back of food packages, can be hard to understand. Here’s how to read them, and teach your kids how to read them too.
How to Tame Your Kid’s Sweet Tooth in 30 Days: The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recently recommended that kids and adults limit added sugar to 10 percent or fewer of daily calories. This resource provides a plan to help everyone get close to that 10 percent level in just a month.
Keeping Portions Under Control: It is not only important for the quality of our food to by nutritious but also the quantity. This resource is helpful to understand the difference between serving sizes and recommended amounts of different foods.
Kids and Food — 10 Tips for Parents: Following these basic ten guidelines can help you encourage your kids to eat right and maintain a healthy weight.
Lead Poisoning and Nutrition: Resources from the USDA and CDC provide facts on nutrition and lead exposure, how you can fight lead poisoning with a healthy diet, and five things you can do to help lower your child’s lead level (also available in Spanish).
Mealtime Makeovers: Meals that have kid appeal can deliver the vitamins and minerals that growing bodies need. Here are some simple tips for trimming the fats from kids’ favorite foods.
MyPlate Videos: These videos combine nutritional information with inspirational stories from American families, as part of the overall effort to help people find healthy eating solutions and develop a personalized healthy eating style that fits within their overall lifestyle.
Nifty Benefits–Guide to Child Nutrition: This resource highlights the importance of encouraging healthy eating habits from a young age. Understanding what the nutritional guidelines are for children can help families as they work to make better food choices and teach healthy habits.
Nourish Interactive is dedicated to educating children about the importance of good nutrition. Nourish Interactive characters such as Chef Solus are excited to share recipes, games and activities with kids. Children can also enjoy printables — puzzles, worksheets and learning sheets — which promote healthy living.
Nutrition Guide for Toddlers: This article reviews the variety of food a toddler should receive, how much food they need, and the need for milk and iron at this stage in life.
Picky Eaters: Picky eating is a typical behavior for many preschoolers. Learn how to get your child to try new foods, what to say to your child about her eating behaviors and more.
Snacks for Preschoolers: Healthy and well-timed snacks can help fill in nutritional gaps for preschoolers. Turn your kids into smart snackers by getting creative with healthy foods.
Snacks for Toddlers: Some toddlers may seem too busy exploring to slow down and eat. Others may be fickle about food. That’s where healthy, well-timed snacks come in.
Strategies for Feeding a Preschooler: The preschool years are a great time to teach children about healthy food choices in new and exciting ways.
Toddlers at the Table — Avoiding Power Struggles: By anticipating problems and offering choices, you can teach toddlers healthy eating habits and avoid power struggles about food.
Top 5 Tips to Deal with Picky Eaters (Both Kids & Adults): This resource provides tips that will help nourish your family with healthful foods and help return some harmony to mealtime.
What’s Cooking: Healthy recipes and cooking tips from the USDA, including recipes for those on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
7 Best and Worst Drinks to Keep Kids Hydrated: What should kids drink? This resource provides suggestions as well as other common beverages children should avoid.
10 Tips to Make Better Beverage Choices: What you drink is as important as what you eat. This resource provides tips to help you make better beverage choices.
12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Kids: Smoothies are a delicious way for kids to get enough nutrients into their body each day! This resource provides 12 smoothie recipe you can try with your kids.
Calcium and Your Child: Calcium is needed to build strong bones. But more than 60% of children don’t get enough of this nutrient. Read more about the benefits and sources of calcium.
Creative and Healthy Drinks for Kids: Milk and water are the healthiest drinks for kids. Nutritionists provide ways to help your child get enough of both.
Delicious Drinks — Caffeine-Free Recipes: This resource provides caffeine-free recipes that you and your family will enjoy.
Fruit Juice and Your Child’s Diet: Review the American Academy of Pediatrics’ daily juice recommendations for different age levels, and get additional information and resources about healthy drink habits.
Healthy Drinks for Kids: We know it’s difficult to get your kids on board with healthy drinks. That’s why this resource provides information on drink guidelines for your kids.
Juice or Fruit Drinks? Juice is a way to enjoy fruit. Keeping 100% juice on hand is good for your whole family! This resource explains the benefits of juice and how much is too much.
Potter the Otter (e-book in English and Spanish): Read this book with engaging pictures out loud to your children about an otter who loves water.
Water and Juice Tip Sheet (PDF): This healthy drink tip sheet includes guidelines for serving water and juice, how to encourage children to make healthy beverage choices, and more.
What Should Preschoolers Drink?: The best drinks for preschoolers — and for kids of all ages — are milk and water. Read more about how to quench preschoolers’ thirst in healthy ways.
What’s That You’re Drinking? This resource is an activity parents can complete with their kids. Post this chart on the refrigerator as a reminder and to encourage your whole family to switch to healthy drinks with you.
4 Exercises to Help Baby Get Stronger: Whether your baby is batting at an object, kicking her legs, or squirming during a diaper change, they are exercising their little muscles. This resource provides easy exercises that will help you become your baby’s own personal trainer.
5 Moves for Baby’s First Workout: You can start tummy time as soon as your baby is born with these moves to build strength and early motor skills as well as bond with your baby.
11 Activities for Babies (0 to 6 Months): This resource provides simple, development-promoting activities for babies birth to 6 months suggested by three leading child development experts.
11 Activities for Babies (6 to 12 months): This resource provides simple, development-promoting activities for babies ages 6 to 12 months suggested by three leading child development experts.
11 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active: Only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day. Parents can play a key role in helping their child become more physically active. This resource provides 11 ways on how to get started.
Establishing Tummy Time Routines: Learn how to make tummy time part of your family’s daily routine, increase your baby’s ability to reach, and more, with these tips.
Family Checklist for Physical Activity in Early Care Education : This checklist of physical activity best practices is a great resource to have as you visit child care programs. Also available in Spanish.
Get Moving Today Activity Calendar: A start anytime, reusable calendar that contains fun physical activities to do every day with your preschooler.
Head Start Body Start: These SHAPE America materials provide age-appropriate activities to show the importance of physical activity for young children. They offer a variety of ideas, strategies and information to use the space, material and time that providers or parents have to model and encourage physical activities. They are offered in English and Spanish.
Healthy Tips for Active Play: This helpful resource explains the benefits of active play, how to tell if your child is getting enough active play, and ideas for active play indoors and out.
How much physical activity do children need? Is your child or adolescent completing all three types of physical activity? This resource will encourage your child to participate in activities that are age-appropriate, enjoyable and offer variety.
How to Keep Toddlers Active: Toddlers don’t like to sit still. This resource provides tips for keeping toddlers active.
Kids and Exercise: Explore the different ways kids can play and be physically active. This resource provides the benefits of exercise and the activity guidelines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
Making Physical Activity a Part of a Child’s Life: As a parent, you can help shape your child’s attitudes and behaviors toward physical activity, and knowing these guidelines is a great place to start.
Motivate Kids to be Active: Healthy, physically active kids are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful. Explore age-appropriate activities that your kids will enjoy.
National Park Service: Find a park near you and start planning your next outdoor adventure.
National Wildlife Federation Family Fun: Discover fun outdoor, nature and animal-related activities to do with your child. Search activities by type, child age, season or favorite animal.
Toddlers — Learning By Playing: Take advantage of your toddler’s natural desire to keep moving. This resource provides a guide to the physical skills toddlers are working by age.
Tummy Time Tools: This informative resource talks about the benefits of tummy time how to carry your baby securely tips for bathing, diapering and dressing baby much more.
Creating a Family Media Plan: By creating a personalized Family Media Use Plan, you can be more actively aware of your media use and how much time you need to achieve your goals each day. This tool from the American Academy of Pediatrics will help you to think about media usage and create goals and rules that are in line with your family’s values.
Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games and Internet: Too much screen time can have unhealthy side effects. This article contains tips for parents on how to limit screen time and also covers Internet safety.
How Media Use Affects Your Child: Technology can be part of a healthy childhood, as long as this privilege isn’t abused. This resource explains how media affects your child and recommended guidelines for screen time.
How TV Affects Children: Learn about appropriate TV programming for young children as well as how commercials affect children, about TV ratings and how to teach good TV habits.
Limit Screen Time: This resource explains the importance of limiting or eliminating screen time and provides fun activities your kids can do instead.
Limit Screen Time and Get Your Kids (and the Whole Family) Moving: Experts recommend that kids get no more than 1-2 hours of TV/computer/video games a day. This resource provides ideas about how to limit your family’s sedentary time.
Reducing Kids’ TV, Computer, and Cell Phone Time — Without a Fight: This resource provides stress-free strategies for reducing screen time with your kids.
Screen Time and Children — How to Guide Your Child: Screens are everywhere. As a result, controlling a child’s screen time has become much harder for parents. This resource provides tips on guiding your child’s use of screens and media.
Screen Time Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers: Most of a baby’s brain development happens in the first two years of life. This resource explains how much is too much for babies and toddlers.
Screen Time Guidelines for Preschoolers: Preschoolers learn by interacting with the world around them. the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting the amount of time that preschoolers spend in front of a screen. This resource explains how much is too much for preschoolers.
Screen Time Guidelines for Big Kids: By the time kids reach grade school, most are very familiar with things like TVs, tablets and smartphones. This resource explains how much is too much for kids and pre-teens.
Screen Time Guidelines for Teens: As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with activities like being physically active, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family. This resource explains how much is too much for teens.
Tip Sheet: Setting Limits for Screen Time (PDF): At-a-glance tip sheet for parents on how to limit screen time and spend more quality time as a family.
We Can! Screen Time Chart: Fill out this chart to see how much time your family spends in front of a screen weekly.
Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play: This article emphasizes that while tummy time is important, babies are safest on their backs while sleeping. Learn more about how to enjoy tummy time with your infant.
The Best Breastfeeding Positions for Mom and Baby: Learn how to breastfeed by trying four popular breastfeeding positions (cradle, cross-cradle, side-lying, and football) to find the best one for you and baby.
Breastfeeding FAQs — Getting Started: Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. This resource provides answers to common queries that mothers may have.
Breastfeeding FAQs — Pain and Discomfort: Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. This resource provides answers to common queries that mothers may have.
Breastfeeding Tips — What New Moms Need to Know: Breastfeeding can be challenging. This resource provides breastfeeding tips to get off to a good start.
Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding: Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed their baby is one of the biggest decisions expectant and new parents will make. This resource explains the benefits and challenges with both.
A Guide to Pumping Milk: This guide from La Leche League describes different types of pumps, and how to make pumping as comfortable, effective and stress-free as possible.
Moms/ Moms-to-Be Health and Nutrition Information: When you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you have special nutritional needs. This site is designed to give you the tools you and your baby need to stay healthy.
Nursing Positions: It’s important to find a comfortable nursing position (or hold) for both you and your baby. This resources provides some common positions to consider.
Your Age-by-Age Guide to Weaning: This resource rounded up lactation consultants, developmental experts, and real moms to help you get both mind and body ready for weaning.
My Native Plate and My Native Plate for Your Family (PDF): Helping your family eat healthy is easy with these print-outs reminding you about portion sizes and to include fruits, vegetables, grains and protein with every meal.
Physical Activity Kit for Young Children (PAK) — Staying on the Active Path in Native Communities
(PDF): This vast resource for child care providers and parents contains culturally appropriate physical activities and movements for infants, toddlers and preschool children.
4 Month Sleep Regression (PDF): As baby’s sleep becomes more developed and organized around the 4-month mark, some babies who were previously sleeping well will begin waking more and napping less. This is often a source of confusion for many parents. This article will explain why “good” sleepers sometimes turn into “poor” sleepers around 3-5 months old.
8, 9, 10 Month Sleep Regression (PDF): It is very common for 8-10 month old babies to have sleep problems. Maybe the sleep problems are new after baby was sleeping through the night or maybe baby never quite recovered from the 4-month sleep regression. You can also refer parents to this article: 8, 9, 10 Month Sleep Regression.
7 Tips For Making Daycare Nap Schedules Work For Your Child (PDF): This is a great resource for families whose children are struggling to nap well at daycare, and who are becoming overly tired and cranky as a result. It provides parents with seven tried and true ways to help children get extra sleep in the evening and on weekends, thereby eliminating chronic exhaustion.
10 Tips for Safe Baby Sleep (PDF): Knowing where to turn for safe sleep information is challenging. Safety recommendations to prevent SIDS (crib death) have changed over time. This list provides ten tips for safe sleep, compiled from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
20 Baby Sleep Myths (PDF): There are many myths or areas where parent intuition is not always true. This handout will help put those myths to bed.
Baby and Toddler Bedtime By Age Chart (PDF): This chart helps parents select age-appropriate bedtimes as their children grow.
Guide for Parents of 0-6 Month Old Babies (PDF): This handout provides a great overview of how sleep changes in the first 6 months of a baby’s life. It also provides two sample daytime schedules parents can use for reference.
A Guide to Getting Started with The Baby Sleep Site®: The Baby Sleep Site strives to offer a wide range of resources, products and services for parents and families who need additional information or help with their child’s sleep. This guide is meant to help new visitors navigate and learn about all that The Baby Sleep Site™ offers.
Naptime—How Much Sleep Do Kids Need: Bright Horizons provides basic guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation on how much hours of sleep kids need.
Preparing Your Kids for Naptime at Daycare: Sleep Help, a sleep-health education site, has put best practices together to ensure your young child has a smooth transition to daycare and provide some guidance on how to best prepare your child for daycare napping.
Safe Sleep: Child Care Aware of North Dakota has a selection of resources on safe sleep. You can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other sleep-related accidents by following safe sleep practices.
Safe Sleep for Babies (Video): Learn the steps to ensure a safe sleep environment for your baby with host Joan Lunden, CPSC, Keeping Babies Safe and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a short version of this video available as well.
Sleep and Young Children: This issue of the North Carolina Child Care Health and Safety Bulletin focuses on sleep and related issues. Sleep-related problems and suggestions for dealing with them are included as well as resources for getting help.
Sleeping for Two—The Complete Guide to Sleeping While Pregnant: This guide from Sleep Advisor looks at the reasons behind the lack of sleep during each trimester, why adequate sleep is so important during pregnancy, and includes tips for better sleep as well as FAQs.
MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future.
Screen Free Week
Screen-Free Week is an annual, international celebration when schools, families and community groups pledge to spend seven days without digital entertainment. Spend quality time together, without TV or computer games.
A guide to childhood obesity prevention in the classroom
1. Promote and implement health education for your students
Many kids have no idea what is involved in a healthy diet or exercise regime, or what equates to a healthy lifestyle in general. Many adults have no idea either, for that matter, but when you&rsquore young, it&rsquos especially tough to even have an awareness of that kind of thing.
&ldquoUse your expertise as an educator to reinforce healthy habits in the curriculum regardless of subject matter,&rdquo says Dr. Jarrett Patton. &ldquoTeaching health and nutrition throughout the day can help lead children to live healthier lives at home."
Working healthy lifestyle lesson plans into your curriculum will not only give kids an awareness of their own health, but you&rsquoll also be able to encourage and spark ideas about how to keep healthy on a regular basis and stay healthy in the future.
&ldquoTeach them about healthy eating, suggest new recipes or introduce students to gardening,&rdquo suggests Corina Bethencourt, a teacher at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. &ldquoA great resource for teachers is the Let's Move initiative.&rdquo
2. Get kids moving with physical fitness activities
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health, the guidelines for children state that 60 minutes of physical activity is recommended per day, as well as 30 minutes of vigorous activity three times per week. While it may be a standard requirement for the curriculum at your school, making sure your students have adequate time to get physical activity in outside or in the gymnasium is essential.
There are other ways you can work in physical fitness activities in the classroom as well. &ldquoIncorporate activity into lesson plans during the day,&rdquo says Patton. &ldquoThis could be as simple as providing a stretch break for the kids or allowing for a few minutes of simple calisthenics like jumping jacks or push-ups.&rdquo
3. Encourage healthy snacks
Making sure the school you&rsquore working at has healthy guidelines in place regarding school lunches and snacks is essential to promoting good health in the classroom. If you&rsquore in charge of providing snacks for your students, make sure you&rsquore choosing healthy options: fruits, vegetable, whole-grain options and foods high in protein.
If parents are in charge of providing their kids with snacks for the day, there&rsquos no harm in sending home a letter detailing ideas for healthy snack options, but at the same time, it&rsquos important to respect the decisions parents make for their children. You can educate, but it&rsquos important not to pressure kids or their parents.
&ldquoModeling from teachers should be in the form of respect for meals, snack times and eating with children,&rdquo says Adina Pearson, a family dietician. &ldquoShow them a calm and relaxed attitude about food and the importance of taking time to nourish oneself.&rdquo
4. Keep yourself healthy
Your role as a teacher gives you the opportunity to make a huge impact on your students. Not only do kids often look up to their teachers, but they will also certainly watch how you handle yourself and manage your own life.
When kids learn that one of your priorities is staying healthy, eating nutritious foods and pursuing physical fitness, they may be more likely to pursue those things as well. Don&rsquot stop with yourself&mdashget your whole staff on board. Promote health initiatives at your school, have competitions with prizes, and play games that will get everyone on board with keeping healthy.
5. Rally for positive health programs and policies at your school
Schools as a whole have made great strides toward pursuing healthier options and putting policies in place to promote the health of students, faculty and staff. Government programs have certainly helped move things along, as well. Not all schools are necessarily on board, however, and it&rsquos up to you speak up and advocate on behalf of your students.
Many of the strides that have already been made are due to teachers like you who have rallied for change and pursued making a difference, so don&rsquot be afraid to stand up and make your voice heard.
Jamie Oliver Beating Childhood Obesity
Celebrated British chef Jamie Oliver of “Naked Chef” fame, who is passionate about fresh, delicious and uncomplicated food, takes the rising numbers of children struggling with obesity in the world to heart and is doing whatever he can to help combat it. He has come up with a list of recommendations which he has presented in hopes that through education and small, attainable changes, the next generation will live longer and healthier lives.
His platform as a celebrity has allowed Oliver to draw attention to this epidemic, making it his personal mission to encourage simple lifestyle and diet alterations that will ultimately lead to lower food-related illness rates. While his focus so far has been on children in the United Kingdom and the United States, these ideas are practical for every corner of the globe where a diet of processed foods has become the norm.
One of the biggest sources of empty calories for school-aged children and teenagers is sugary soft drinks. Oliver advocates for placing a tax on these drinks to raise money that would be used on food education programs, while also encouraging the consumption of more water and drinks without added sugar or sweeteners, which are typically less expensive or free.
If food and beverage companies gradually reduce the sugar found in their products, consumers aren’t likely to detect changes in new recipes because their taste buds will slowly adapt to them. This technique has already been used successfully to reduce salt in many packaged foods.
Reading a food label should be a simple process that even a child can figure out, yet many parents struggle with understanding portion sizes, nutrition facts and ingredients. Labeling should be standardized so that it is easy to know exactly what is inside the package.
Make a School Food Plan
It is imperative for schools to educate students about food and nutrition. Government should back an extensive plan to improve cooked school lunches and introduce standards for packed lunches too, as they generally do not meet minimum nutritional standards.
The advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods that targets children should be banned, and stores should make it clear which foods are high in fat, salt and sugar. There should also be incentives for supermarkets to work with organizations that place healthy, fresh foods in the hands of lower-income families.
Diagnose and Prevent
The UK has an existing program called the National Child Measurement Programme, and Oliver believes it should be expanded so that obesity can be caught in its earliest stages so that preventative measures can be taken. This type of program should be implemented everywhere.
Jamie Oliver’s inspiring activism regarding childhood obesity is certainly bringing needed attention to this serious issue on both individual and governmental levels. Get involved with this exciting movement in your own family and community, starting with Oliver’s Ted Talk for more inspiration on the subject:
This measure is widely supported by the public, with polling from 2019 shows that 72% of public support a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts during popular family TV shows and that 70% support a 9pm watershed online as well as academics, health and medical organisations.
Volume promotions like BOGOFs appear to be mechanisms to help shoppers save money, however data shows that they actually increase the amount we spend by encouraging people to buy more than they need or intended to buy in the first place. We buy almost 20% more than we otherwise would.
Nutrition Basics Help Fight Child Obesity
FDA nutrition expert Shirley Blakely, a registered dietitian, says the Nutrition Facts label and the list of ingredients on packaged foods are keys to healthy eating. Go to Flickr to get high resolution photos of Shirley preparing kid-friendly foods.
With childhood obesity levels at an all-time high, parents, schools—even whole communities—are getting behind the movement to help young people eat healthier.
As you head down the supermarket aisle, registered dietitian Shirley Blakely says you should zero-in on two things:
- the Nutrition Facts label—tells the number of calories and percentage of a day’s worth of nutrients in one serving
- the ingredients on the label of all prepared and packaged foods—lists every ingredient that went into the product, with the predominant ingredient first, the next most prominent second, and so on in descending order
If the cereal your kids like has some type of grain, such as corn or oats, listed first, that’s a good sign. But if fructose, high fructose corn syrup, or sucrose—in other words, sugar—is listed first, that tells you that added sugars are taking the place of other, more nutritious ingredients. The FDA has also proposed to update the nutrition facts label and has proposed that “added sugars” information be included so that you can see how much added sugars are in a product.
But sugar isn’t always an additive. Some foods—fruits, for example—are naturally sweet without adding any sugar at all. If you check the Nutrition Facts label on canned or dried fruits that have no added sugar, you’ll still see sugars listed. That’s because the sugars in pineapple, raisins, prunes, and other fruits occur naturally.
Getting kids to eat the fiber they need can be a challenge. Watch this video of Shirley Blakely and a group of hungry kids preparing good-tasting high fiber foods.
The same is true for fresh apples, bananas, melons, carrots and other items on your grocer's produce aisle, but they are not generally required to carry labels. If you want to know how many calories or nutrients they have, you can look on the Internet.
Blakely also says parents and kids should pay attention to portion sizes and make sure everyone in the family knows how to use the Nutrition Facts label to guide their food choices. Blakely says there are three things everyone should check when they read the label:
Serving size—one container isn’t necessarily one serving of the nutrients listed on the Nutrition Facts label if you only want to eat one serving you can pre-measure your food and eat it from a plate or bowl instead of out of the container.
Percent Daily Value—tells what percentage of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient is in one serving of a food. Based on the amount of each nutrient recommendation for one day, 5 percent or less is low 20 percent or more is high.
Nutrients—choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Try to get 20 percent or more of protein, fiber, and some essential vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin C and calcium) in a single serving but limit your intake of saturated fats and sodium to 5 percent or less per serving of food. Strive for 0 trans fat, or trans fatty acids—this harmful fat raises your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers your good cholesterol (HDL).
Good nutrition at home is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to being healthy. With one third of daily calories being consumed outside the home, the FDA is moving forward with calorie labeling on menus and menu boards for certain chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, and on vending machines. The requirements would help ensure that consumers have more information when they make food choices outside of their homes.
Exercise and willpower alone are not enough
Commenting on the report, Jacob West, our Executive Director of Healthcare Innovation, said:
&ldquoThis timely and insightful report highlights the major benefits that the whole of society can gain from taking proactive action to address childhood obesity. It serves as a warning that the toll on our health and economy could be immense in the years to come if we fail to adequately address this major public health crisis today.
&ldquoSadly, children with obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity, who are then at increased risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases. More must be done to break this chain of ill health. To do this will require collective action across government, society and the economy &ndash there&rsquos no magic bullet when it comes to reducing obesity rates. Exercise and willpower alone are not enough - children must also grow up in the healthiest possible environment.
&ldquoThe increased risk of severe illness or death from Covid-19 among people with obesity further underlines the need to take urgent action. The Government&rsquos recent obesity strategy is a good starting point to achieve this, containing the kind of evidence-based measures that could save and improve lives, such as a 9pm watershed on junk food marketing, and mandatory calorie labelling. It&rsquos vital that Government adequately resources and implements the entire range of measures contained in the strategy in full, and as a priority.&rdquo