Get Involved in Your Child's Health
Dad, did you know that you have a direct impact on your child's health? Check out this data about the connection between fathers' physical fitness and children's physical fitness (Data taken from International Journal of Obesity, 2001):
- A father's Body Mass Index (BMI) predicts his child's BMI independent of the child's alcohol intake, smoking, physical fitness, and father's education.
- BMI in sons and daughters is consistently higher when fathers were overweight or obese.
- Physical fitness of daughters is negatively related to their father's obesity.
- Obesity of fathers is associated with a four-fold increase in the risk of obesity of sons and daughters at age 18.
Research like this has inspired NFI to help dads get healthy and lead their families in healthy lifestyles; this is part of what is at the heart of NFI's mission to improve child well-being by helping kids have involved, responsible, and committed fathers.
Check out 5 Ways to Get Involved in Your Child's Health from our brochure Helping Your Children Maintain a Healthy Weight.
5 Ways to Get Involved in Your Child's Health
Our Helping Your Children Maintain a Healthy Weight brochure has 15 ways for dads to help their children be active and eat healthy foods. Here are a few of the tips:
- #1: Make time for your family to be active together: Schedule some time at least once a week for all the members of your family to be active together. Make sure that what you do is something that everyone enjoys. Try walking, riding bikes, bowling, or building a garden. Have each family member take turns choosing the activity for the week.
- #2: Exercise: Enough said. Modeling exercise is perhaps the best thing you can do to create an active home. The children of dads who exercise are more likely to be active and to exercise, too. Exercise at least 3-4 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes. If you can involve your children when you exercise - such as having them jog with you - do so. Not only will having them exercise with you show them the joy of exercise, it will bring you closer to your children.
- #3: Share your favorite sports with your children: If your children like some of the same sports that you do, play those sports with them. This sharing will allow your child to see you model part of a healthy lifestyle, and will deepen your relationships with your children. Consider coaching your children's teams as a way to model how vital an active lifestyle is to being healthy.
- #4: Buy healthy foods: Buy as many foods as you can that are made from whole products such as whole-wheat bread and brown rice, instead of highly refined foods, such as white bread and white rice. Limit foods with preservatives, chemicals, and a lot of saturated fat and sugar. Buy lots of fruits and vegetables of many colors. Fill a snack basket with these healthy foods instead of chips and candy. Limit how often your family eats "fast foods."
- #5: Watch what your children drink: Sodas and fruit juices are the drink of choice for too many children these days. One study of obese teens found that 50 percent of their calories came from sodas. Diet sodas don't pass the test either. Fruit juices are okay in small amounts, but don't overdo it. And avoid giving your children sports drinks when they don't need them to recharge after a lot of physical activity. Encourage your children to drink lots of water and just enough milk for growing bones.
You can read the rest of the 15 tips from this brochure by ordering it from our FatherSOURCE Resource Center™. Check out all the brochures offered!
Dad, take action today to get involved in your child's health! A few small changes can make a big impact!