As kids are gearing up to start a new school year, we try to help by supplying them with new school supplies, clothes, backpacks and lunch boxes. We also need to help them make smart food choices and provide opportunities to exercise so that they can achieve their academic potentials and be healthier overall.
Dr. Joanna Dolgoff M.D., pediatrician and child and family obesity specialist is passionate about teaching kids about making healthy food choices and staying active. She was recently the child and family obesity specialist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser and is the inventor of the Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right eating program and author of the book of the same name.
Recently, she has teamed up with Dannon’s Rally for Recess program that gives five ($30,000) playground makeovers to schools across the country. Realizing that some kids are home schooled or attend online classes, Dannon is also giving three individual household a $1000 “Playtime at Home” playground to help with the initiative.
Due to budget cuts, more and more schools are no longer offering P.E. classes and recess. What may just seem like child's play to many is actually very important to the general health of our kids.
“It is important for children to get at least 60 minutes of activity each day,” says Dr. Dolgoff. "The best way I’ve found to get them moving is through doing things they enjoy, like playing outside. That’s why this program is so important.”
The third annual Rally for Recess program encourages parents to rally their schools’ community to give the kids a chance for more outdoor play. Dannon is committed to children’s health and providing healthy food options that are appealing to young children as well as being nutritious. They want to encourage kids of all ages to eat yogurt everyday as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Launched on August 1 and continuing through December 31, 2013, you can collect codes on specially marked packages of Danimals and Danonino® and enter them online at the Rally for Recess website for opportunities to win.
One thing that greatly impressed Dr. Dolgoff about Dannon in general is that they took the initiative themselves to reformulate their Danimals smoothie to reduce sugar by 25% and boost the nutritional content, all without sacrificing taste.
As far as getting kids to make nutritious food choices, she recommends keeping healthy foods like fruits, veggies and low-fat dairy products like Danimals Smoothies easily accessible and make junk food only an occasional treat.
“Children also need plenty of lean protein and fiber too,” she adds.
Most of all, Dr. Dolgoff emphasizes the importance of staying positive with kids about food and maintaining a healthy weight and an active lifestyle.
She concludes, “It’s not about a number on a scale. It’s about making healthy choices.”
She stresses that parents should model healthy eating habits and behaviors. “Kids don’t know what to do, so they look to use for guidance. Offering a balanced diet, watching portion sizes, encouraging outdoor play and limiting TV/computer times is the crux of the ways we can help our kids."