Fighting Childhood Obesity with Breastfeeding, Healthier School Lunches

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Breastfeeding, Healthier School LunchesWhile the results are still small, new studies suggest that healthier school lunch initiatives are paying off: the American Medical Association recently announced a pronounced drop in obesity rates for children ages 2-5 and more school children have regular access to fruits, veggies, and whole grains in their school lunches.

Obesity rates for children ages 2-5 fell 43% in a span of 8 years (2003-2004 and 2011-2012). While obesity rates remained consistent among other age groups, these findings are encouraging to researchers who have been tracking healthy lunch initiatives. The rise of breastfeeding mothers has also been tapped as a contributing factor in the fight against childhood obesity.

Establishing healthy eating patterns early on will help a child maintain a healthy body weight through adulthood. School lunches, which are stereotypically comprised of fried and sugary offerings, have been slowly transformed into carefully prepared meals that feature fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in appropriate servings. Even though unhealthier options have not been completely banished from cafeterias across the nation, children altogether have direct access to nutritious food regardless of their school district.

Breastfeeding benefits your baby long after they stop nursing; help your child extend these health benefits by making fruits, veggies, and whole grains a part of their daily diet. Schools and parents are beginning to work together and we are hopeful for more improvements as these school lunch reforms continue to take hold.

Feel like you’re constantly fighting with a picky eater? You can enforce non-gadget playtime with your kids to help them stay healthy. According to health and exercise initiatives, kid’s playtime should clock in at about an hour every day, so make sure to visit the playground or sign your child up for a sport. With all of the options available, you’ll be sure to find an activity your child will love. Remember, you can join in on the fun and benefit, too!

Stay happy and healthy, moms and kids!