Your Healthy Family: Kids summer weight gain - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Kids summer weight gain

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The lazy days of summer have finally arrived.

However, research is showing that many kids are getting a little too lazy during the summer months.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), various studies have shown the rate of weight gain for some children tends to double during the summer months.

Get moving

Karen Vargo, M.D. a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, said it’s important for kids to get off of the couch and get moving even if they’re not naturally athletic.

“Not every child is going to be a super athlete, but parents should still encourage their kids and should acknowledge the effort -that’s very important,” said Dr. Vargo.

Researchers have speculated that the potential for summer weight gain lies in the unstructured nature of the vacation months.

Sleeping in later, inconsistent meal times and potentially unlimited access to unhealthy snacks are all possible causes for packing on a few extra pounds.

Getting involved

Dr. Vargo said that any of these potential summer pitfalls can be avoided by taking advantage of the weather and getting kids outdoors.

For younger children, Dr. Vargo recommends that parents go outside and engage in whatever activity is fun for their child, as younger children thrive from parental involvement both physically and mentally.

Older children can benefit from spending time outdoors with mom or dad by shooting hoops or heading out for a jog.

Lead by example

Dr. Vargo said parents who want their kids to exercise more can get them started by setting an example.

“They can tell their children how much they enjoy exercise and they can invite their kids to exercise along with them,” said Dr. Vargo. “So if you’re going to go for a bike ride, invite your child.  If you’re going to go for a hike, invite your kids.”

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