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Healthy from the Inside Out

By Meranda Pitt

September 09, 2021

Port Charlotte, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County continues the 2021 Back-to-School Health and Safety campaign to support the return to school.

Along with child safety seats, immunizations and helping families understand how to protect and keep loved ones safe for the return to school, the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County wants to help make after-school snacks fun, easy, and healthy.

About 1 in 5 (19%) children in the United States has obesity. Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other long-term health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and there are many ways we can support children in their journey to good health. Providing fruits and vegetables throughout the day along with offering more water rather than sugar-sweetened drinks are two important ways we can help prevent obesity.

Healthy snacks are one way to get more fruits and vegetables in your child’s day.  Including your child in snack and meal preparation provides important skills and exposure to new foods. Often, children who help prepare a meal are more likely to try new foods or familiar foods cooked in new ways.

Preparing meals and snacks together is also a great chance to create special memories and bonding moments that children never forget. These moments in children’s lives are known to help create healthy relationships with parents and adults.  Strong relationships in a child’s life have been proven to reduce the chance of children taking part in risky behaviors and having long-term health issues into teen years and adulthood. Positive moments, such as involving children in meal preparation, helps reduce adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and are also smart steps to preventing obesity and long-term illnesses.

Other ways we can support children’s health is through regular opportunities for physical activity and healthy sleep habits. 

Healthy habits create healthy kids, inside and out.

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Healthy After School Snacks - Fruity Peanut Butter Pizza

Healthy After School Snacks - Hummus Heads

Healthy After School Snacks - Veggie Pizza

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About the Florida Department of Health

The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.