How to help your kids fight unhealthy weight gain during the COVID-19 lockdown

A new study has found that children have gained an average of 8 to 10 pounds since the lockdown began.

Experts say the news is likely the unintended consequence of closing down schools, parks, and playgrounds to fight the spread of COVID-19

Thousands of children along the east coast were surveyed through, and the data showed that the average child has gained 7 pounds since March. 15 percent of the children surveyed gained over 10 pounds. 

The biggest spikes were seen in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York.

Dr. Dyan Hes of Gramercy Pediatrics says her greatest concern is for children ages 4 to 11, those not required to see a doctor right now for vaccines.

“Those visits are not associated with vaccines, they weren’t considered essential, so those were all put off,” said Dr. Hes. “So we’re only getting those school-aged kids back in the office now after they’ve been sedentary for three months.”

Experts are advising parents to do whatever they can to keep their kids up and moving, whether it’s taking the stairs rather than an elevator, or playing with a hula hoop or running a scavenger hunt inside the house.

Rachel Schwartz, a certified nutrition coach, says she is relying on Cosmic Kids Yoga, or GoNoodle dance breaks to keep her children moving and is also hoping that parks and playgrounds will soon reopen citywide.

“Children thrive off of scheduling, so it’s really important to implement some sort of schedule in a way where they can get moving on a regular basis,” Schwartz said. 

In addition to sticking to a schedule, Schwartz suggests sneaking vegetables into your children’s meals and aiming to serve 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. 


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