Who has watched their waistline change over the last several years especially after having kids? Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight management can be a challenge for many moms and families. Busy schedules, lack of sleep, financial challenges and other factors contribute to stress eating or just grabbing food on the go.
During Childhood Obesity Awareness month, I thought it would be helpful to share more information about the resources available right in our backyard. In Hillsborough County, government representatives, non-profit organizations, corporations and providers came together to form a coalition, Partners in Obesity Prevention. I spoke with Cindy Hardy, Asst. Community Health Nursing Director for the Florida Department of Health HC, and lead coordinator of POP to get more information about the resources available in the community and her expert opinion on recommendations for busy families.
During the interview, I asked her several questions about the POP organization and her recommendations to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is a summary of our discussion sharing the most critical facts and expert ideas.
Partners in Obesity Prevention was started about 5 years ago as a suggestion by a partner provider of the health department. This provider recommended creating a community coalition to pool resources and services. Once POP was born, community leaders met quarterly to discuss how to partner and better serve the people. To take it to the next level, POP hosted a countywide Obesity Summit last February with the help from representatives of the National Department Health and followed steps from a national report on how to address obesity in the community. One task was to provide a central “bank” of services, resources and partners, which is now available at the website http://partnersinobesityprevention.com.
In our discussion, we talked about a documentary by HBO called the Weight of the Nation. I personally think that every parent should watch this series, especially the third part about childhood obesity. All four parts are available to view on the POP website. We both watched the series and there were many take aways that could be acted upon immediately. Cindy shared her two recommendations for parents – portion control and be aware of what is in the home. If food is eliminated from the home then it cannot be consumed. Time for a pantry makeover!! If it is in the home, try to stay to healthier portion sizes. One of my take aways from watching the series was to not drink your calories. Now, even I mostly just drink water rather than all natural tea drinks.
As a parent and author of eBook, 10 Steps to Fitter Smarter Kids, I try my best to maintain a healthy lifestyle for my family and myself. I know the daily challenges if children’s activities, homework, and busy work schedules. Selecting healthy food for school meals/snacks or even trying to have a family dinner can seem like impossible tasks. Changes need to be made in small measureable steps while monitoring progress. As the saying goes, “Everything in Moderation” but having an action plan can help. The eBook, 10 Steps to Fitter Smarter Kids, is a program that includes the Fit Smart Kid Pledge, beginner and advanced 30-Day Action Plans, and a certificate for completion of the program. The entire family can do this program together.
I wish there was a magic wand that could help us all achieve the healthy lifestyle and perfect figure we all dream about. For our family, it is about reading the nutrition labels, monitoring portions, staying active and just doing our best.
I would love to hear what works for your family so connect with me on-line and have a very happy, healthy day!