New Year's resolutions to keep your children healthy

- A local pediatrician recommends making New Year’s resolutions for your children in order to help them lead a healthier lifestyle.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 13.7 million children and teens in America are overweight or obese. Board-certified Orlando pediatrician Dr. Candice Jones said, “Those children are at risk for elevation in their blood pressure… elevation in cholesterol, early on-set diabetes, those condition that we once saw only in adulthood, our children are now starting to have because of obesity.”

But for 2019 she’s encouraging parents to get their children involved in making New Year’s resolutions to help put a dent in the epidemic. “Giving them two or three pointers for resolutions that include healthy habits sets that foundation for life-long health,” Dr. Jones said.

Resolution #1: Get the kids in the kitchen

Dr. Jones recommends getting the entire family in the kitchen and involved in making meals. “That way you can teach your kids how to cook healthy, how to try those different colors of fruits and vegetables, how to prepare things more healthy, and your children, when they cook with you, when they prepare something they will eat it, even the picky kids,” she said. Dr. Jones said it can be easy to reach for unhealthy food options when dealing with a picky eater but try to resist and got for healthier options instead

Resolution #2: Get the kids outside

Dr. Jones recommends getting the kids outside for at least an hour a day to play and exercise.

Resolution #3: Snack healthy

She also recommends cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks at snack time. “There’s no nutritional value in that stuff. We want them to drink plenty of water and find some healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables,” Dr. Jones said.

Dr. Jones recommends parents visit healthychildren.org for more resources and help.

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