Having trouble reading this email? View it on your browser .


Coach Mom Newsletter - Oct 2011

Outsmart Childhood Obesity: Our Health Won't Weight

Did you know ...

  • Twenty percent of American children are overweight. Seventy percent of those children will grow up to be obese adults.

  • Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
  • Obesity can lead to heart disease, caused by high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and sleep apnea.

(Sources: Dr. Kenneth Cooper, National Health/Nutrition Examination Survey, http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html)  

These statistics are discouraging, but I hope they are a reminder to us that change is imperative. In an age of fast food, video games, and High Definition television, it takes strategy and purposeful living to outsmart obesity. This month I want to share with you some of the specific healthy choices we make in a typical day, from morning to night.


  • Add *flaxseed meal to oatmeal for an extra-nutritious breakfast.

    *2 T of flaxseed = the fiber of 1 ½ cups of cooked oatmeal+ the antioxidant lignans of 30 cups of fresh brocolli + 2,400 milligrams of omega-3.

    (Check out the recipe for my overnight oatmeal made out of yummy steel-cut oats: http://brennastull.wordpress.com)

  • Parents exercise daily 30-60 minutes (yes, I do know we are talking about childhood obesity).

  • Keep good bananas out (yes, that does mean a trip to the store about every other day).

  • Keep big bowls of small apples out in bowls on the counter (I can’t explain it psychologically, but I’m just saying they get eaten quickly if they are small compared to large).

  • Keep ingredients on hand to make good salads. It’s easy and quick to throw together a super lunch if spinach, feta cheese, craisins, and toasted pecans are available.

  • Water is the drink – lots and lots of it. Sodas are unavailable and juices limited (usually full of calories and sugar).

  • My favorite afternoon snack: Triscuit + Campari tomato + small piece of mozzarella string cheese.

  • Have baby carrots and other fruits and veggies out on the kitchen island in attractive bowls when the children come home from school.

  • Limit the number of sugary foods that come home from the grocery store.

  • Have any pre-packaged snacks in hard-to-access places such as the top shelf of the pantry. (We must think like grocers: Place what you want to “sell” at eye-level).

  •  Cut *kiwis in half and serve as 2 ready-made “bowls” to scoop out of.

    *SuperFood kiwifruit fact: Just one serving of a kiwifruit contains more potassium than a banana, the vitamin c of two oranges, and all the fiber in a bowl of bran.

  • Eat dinner at home. On smaller plates. Sitting at a table.

  • Cut chicken breasts into halves or thirds before putting out on serving tray.

  • Serve fruit pieces in a fluted glass for dessert (It’s all about presentation).

  • Make healthy fruit smoothies for treats. They curb the ice cream cravings.  
    (My favorite smoothie recipe: http://brennastull.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/

  • For a dessert treat have a small piece of dark chocolate. The Dove dark chocolate pieces are packaged in foil wrappers, and one seems to suffice.

  • Kettlekorn is a favorite snack. The key is to limit portion size by putting it in a small plastic bowl and put the sack away.

  • Only have one television in the main room (one other to watch DVDs and play video games).

  • Invest in items children can use to be active outside, such as a playset, jump ropes, frisbees, and balls instead of video games.

  • Sign up the children for sports teams such as soccer and basketball.

  • Keep the kids active in helping around the house. Depending on their age, they can vacuum, mow, gather laundry, gather trash and mow. This is helpful in many ways.

  • Help children get in bed early enough to get good sleep - typically, about 9-10 hours for an elementary child.
    (A report in Pediatrics magazine journal said young children who skimp on sleep both during the week and on the weekends have a four-fold risk of obesity compared with their more well-rested peers. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/lack-weekend-catch-sleep-risk-childhood-obesity/story?id=12743677)

back to top

Is Your Child Overweight or Obese?

This is evaluated by measuring body fat based on height and weight, called body mass index (BMI).  You can check your child’s BMI online at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BMI calculator: http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnpabmi/calculator.aspx.

back to top