Keeping Children Healthy

Being overweight not only causes serious health problems but also can cause low self-esteem and depression in children and adolescents. Overweight children and adolescents may be teased by their peers or have few friends. They may develop other social and psychological problems.

Help your child prevent problems by cooking nutritious meals. Provide healthy snacks that are easily accessible. Place a bowl of fresh fruit on the dining table or in the family room. Place strawberries, blueberries and other fruits and vegetables at eye level in the refrigerator. Leave notes on the refrigerator to remind your family to wash their fruits and vegetables before eating.

Along with healthy eating habits, encourage physical activity. Regular physical activity helps control weight, improves self-confidence and builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints.

Children and adolescents can enjoy getting into shape by participating in activities that involve the entire family. Activities such as rollerblading, bicycling, hiking, horseback riding and swimming can be fun for everyone. Having a family walk after dinner also can be enjoyable. Some fun activities for winter months can include skiing, building a snowman, or snowboarding.

For more information on important health issues, visit the Genesee County Health Department website at