Preven Childhood Obesity

I don’t watch much television, but each season I do watch the Biggest Loser.  I work out with my exercise ball, weights and bands during the show since I’m not very good at sitting and watching TV.  I shed tears with the pain of the heartbreaking stories, and cheer as the contestants are empowered to change their lives.

Each week I see tremendous hard work and dedication, and the small victories that will add up to completely changed lives.  Freedom!  Freedom from embarrassment; freedom to wear “normal” size clothing; freedom to move without pain; freedom from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease; freedom from food cravings; freedom from guilt; the list goes on and on.  As a life-long coach, I love seeing the Biggest Loser Contestants turn into athletes who experience the joy of movement and the physical, emotional and social benefits of becoming fit.

The Biggest Loser

At the same time I’m happy and cheering for Biggest Loser contestants, I am also sad for the their plight and that of millions of other obese and overweight Americans who live with the pain of lives that are out of control.  I am sad for the lost moments, days, and years that these folks have spent suffering.  And, I think of how it could have been if they had just learned different habits as children and teenagers.  I think how things could have been for them…

Tips In Preventing Obesity

1452568_10151976325616692_1211766757_nAs parents, you can start the good habits of obesity prevention in infancy.

  • Feed your babies, toddlers and preschoolers whole foods – vegetables, protein, fruits.  These will become their food preferences in the future.
  • Snack on wholesome foods instead of chips, cookies and candy. 
  • Play as a family! 
    Play outside, inside, everywhere.  Cut down on “screen” time and make time to be together and active.  You will establish healthy habits that will stay with your kids for life, and habits that they can carry forward into their own future families.

I know that at the end of a long day it’s tempting to just “veg” in front of the TV.  Kids have homework to do; parents have dinner to make, chores, and a million other responsibilities.

BUT, if you can commit just 15 -30 minutes of family activity time every day, it will transform your family. 

The time spent together will create memories that your family will always cherish.  The good brain chemicals (serotonin, endorphins, dopamine) produced by physical activity will help kids focus on homework better, and help parents to feel less stressed.  Even just a walk around the block can provide a simple 15 minutes of family activity time.  Choose whatever activities you enjoy, but schedule this time in your planner and commit to being active.  Break out of the daily grind of tasks and make time for fun.  You’ll be glad you did and someday your kids will thank you!

For active lives,

Comment below and share what one family activity you will do to commit to preventing obesity in your family each night too!

SAFbaby’s Health Expert Adviser Doreen Bolhuis

Doreen Bolhuis is the President/CEO of Gymco Inc., a multi-sport facility for children in its 31st year of operation in Grand Rapids, MI.  Doreen is the creator of Gymtrix, an innovative DVD series to teach physical literacy for babies – 10 yrs.  She is a co-founder and partner of Motion Evolution, a licensed national fitness and physical literacy program for children.  Doreen’s passion is advocating healthy lifestyles and fighting obesity by empowering parents to create active kids from infancy.


Doreen holds a B.S. degree in Physical Education, Health and Recreation.  She has over 35 years experience teaching locally, nationally and internationally and is currently an adjunct professor for Aquinas College in the department of Health and Physical Education.  Doreen has appeared in local, national and international media (CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The N.Y. Times) as a guest expert in Physical Literacy.  Doreen is a former elite level gymnastics coach and member of the Junior Olympic Committee for USA Gymnastics.