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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Did you know that one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese? Being overweight or obese can put kids at risk later in life for diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

It’s not too late for the child in your life, though! We want to give you the information you need to help keep your family healthy. Here are a few ideas for the entire family getting started on the road to better health.
Eat right!
  • Find fun ways to make fruits and veggies a part of every meal.
  • Eat more family meals together.
  • Replace sugary drinks with water.
  • Don’t skip breakfast.
Stay active!
  • Find ways to involve the whole family in exercise.
  • Encourage after-school activities.
  • Aim for the recommended amount of play time each day: at least 60 minutes.
Partner with your doctor
  • Focus on health, not weight.
  • Get regular check-ups.
Limit screen time
  • Keep computers out of the kids’ rooms.
  • Aim for two hours or less per day of screen time (all screen types).
Be a good role model
  • Teach by example.
  • Don’t use food as a reward.
  • Show how eating healthy can be fun and rewarding.

The solution to fighting back against childhood obesity doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s face it: when the family is busy, healthy choices aren’t always the most convenient ones — and that’s okay. You don’t have to start everything all at once. By working small changes into your routine over time and letting them become the norm, you can start to see big differences.
Top 5 Reasons Your Kids (and You)
Should Drink More Water
Drinking water is essential to life, and drinking  more  water is a simple way to improve your health. However, many of us do not drink enough water and instead turn to sugary drinks to quench our thirst.

With the goal of impacting rates of chronic disease & obesity, I Heart Water is encouraging folks – young and old – to adopt water as their  go-to  drink for life, work and play. Need a few reasons why water? Check these out:

1.     Keeps You Fresh
By helping your body temperature stay stable, water keeps you cool and fresh. Water helps your body store heat to cope with the winter cold, and keeps muscles hydrated and functioning efficiently in the summer. So, help keep your kids stay energized and on the go by encouraging them to drink plenty of water during the day.

2.     It Fights Fatigue
With the school year starting back up, parents, teachers and children are going to need as much energy as possible to tackle all the homework, projects, practices, rehearsals, carpools, vanpools, birthday parties….the list goes on and on. Drinking water is a great way to stimulate our bodies to become awake and alert to accomplish our ever-growing to-do lists.

3.     It Prevents Tooth Decay
Water keeps teeth strong and healthy for a bigger and better smile. By adding some fluoride into our water supply, simply drinking pure and clean tap water can help fight off dental cavities. So, drink up and smile on!

4.     The Price Is Right
As they say, if it’s free, it’s for me! The Greater Charlotte area is lucky to have access to high quality tap water that costs a fraction of drinking bottled water or those high cost energy drinks. So, the next time you are packing your child’s lunch or rushing them to sports practice, remember to grab your reusable water bottle and fill it with some of the finest tap water around.

5.     It Keeps You Healthy
Of all the great reasons why you should drink more water, it all comes down to it keeps you healthy! Water can boost the immune system so that you can avoid doctor’s visits during cold and flu season. This will leave you more time to have fun with family and friends! 
Unstable Child Care Can Affect Children by Age 4
Research from UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) reveals that disruptions in child care negatively affect children’s social development as early as age 4. However, the study also shows that the effects of child care instability are not unduly large—and some types of instability appear to have no negative impact on children.

“Our findings showed that when young children moved between child care settings, these transitions negatively affected their social adjustment,” said FPG investigator Mary Bratsch-Hines. “But when children had a history of changing caregivers within the same setting, we found no significant effects.”

Bratsch-Hines explained many experts believe forming stable and secure early relationships with parents and caregivers serves as a working model for children as they form social connections later.

“It follows that higher levels of instability and disruption in establishing strong relationships with caregivers during children’s earliest years could lead to difficulties forming trusting relationships down the road,” said Bratsch-Hines. “However, we have to recognize that changing child care settings and providers may be inevitable for a majority of families.”

Bratsch-Hines said that ups and downs in income, availability of transportation, secure employment, and other factors can result in children moving into and out of different child care settings. But understanding the effects of such transitions on children has remained elusive.
Triple P Parenting Tip of the Month
When your child wants to show you something, stop what you are doing and pay attention. It’s important to spend frequent, small amounts of time with your child doing things that you both enjoy.
Join our FREE Monthly GPS Parent Workshop For Families of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Funded Program
Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen

Central Piedmont Community College’s (CPCC) Culinary Technology Dept. facilitates the Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen program as a means to address and prevent the onset of early childhood obesity. The training sessions and workshops within the Healthy Futures program feature hands-on activities designed to engage Early Childhood professionals as they learn more about children’s nutrition and healthy eating habits. The program provides instruction for child care facilities in Mecklenburg County in the purchase, preparation and serving of healthy food.
 
The goals of the program are to increase the food preparation skills and knowledge of healthy foods for child care facility cooks. Most of these cooks do not have professional training in child nutrition and lack the knowledge to provide healthy food options to the children in their facilities. Instruction of those preparing the food will be supplemented and reinforced with training for child care administrators and for teachers. Smart Start funding is used to pay for CPCC faculty, supplies and offset other program costs. All of the training sessions and workshops are conveniently held at CPCC campuses, typically on Saturdays and are 2-4 hours in length. There is no cost to facilities or individuals for any of the Healthy Futures Staring in the Kitchen Workshops.

3210 CPCC Harris Campus Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28208
Phone:  704-330-4641
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County administers approximately $13 million a year in state and private funds to programs serving children birth to age five, their families, and their caregivers in Mecklenburg County. 
Thank You!
Thank You for all you do to Ensure that ALL Children in Mecklenburg County Enter School Healthy and Ready to Succeed! 
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