Help children live healthier lives with resources from your library

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, one in three children in the United States are overweight or obese. September is “Childhood Obesity Awareness Month” and the Manatee County Public Library System has books, streaming videos and other resources about this important health issue that affects both children and their families.

“The Weight of the Nation: Surprising Lessons about Diet, Food, and Fat from the Extraordinary HBO Documentary Films,” by John Hoffman, is a book based on a 2012 HBO documentary that explores the American epidemic of obesity in general while also examining the growing problem of childhood obesity. It also offers advice on how adults can help themselves and their children live healthier lives.

At nine years old, Breanna Bond weighed 186 pounds and had trouble just walking up the stairs to her room. Taunted unmercifully by classmates, Breanna’s mother was determined to help her daughter. How she and Breanna accomplished this in just over a year without the aid of fad diets, medication or surgery will inspire other parents whose children struggle with obesity in the “Hoopla” eBook, “Who’s the New Kid? How an Ordinary Mom Helped her Daughter Overcome Childhood Obesity, and You Can, Too!” by Heidi Bond with Jenna Glatzer.

Featuring more than 75 kid-friendly recipes, “Weight Watchers Eat! Move! Play!: a Parent’s Guide for Raising Healthy, Happy Kids” also provides hundreds of tips, ideas, and best practices for kids to develop smart eating habits and to keep fit and healthy.

“The Family Guide to Fighting Fat: a Parent’s Guide to Handling Obesity and Eating Issues” by Texas Children’s Hospital, offers guidelines for promoting nutrition, exercise, and weight control for every member of the family. For a book about the subject of healthy eating and exercise from a Christian perspective, look no further than Dr. J. Ron Eaker’s, “Fat-Proof Your Family: God’s Way to Forming Healthy Habits for Life.” The author says that food is a gift from God, that meals should be meaningful, and why moderation in all things is important.

“Real Food for Healthy Kids: 200+ Easy, Wholesome Recipes” by Tracey Seaman and Tanya Wenman Steel, is equal parts cookbook, nutrition guide, daily menus, party planner, and parenting guide. Each recipe has been taste-tested by children and analyzed by a nutritionist.

“Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food” by Jessica Seinfeld, not only includes a month’s worth of traditional recipes containing “disguised” healthy ingredients, but also addresses the importance of portion size, essential elements kids need, and the long–term effects of childhood obesity.

“Strong Kids, Healthy Kids: the Revolutionary Program for Increasing your Child’s Fitness in 30 Minutes a Week” by Fredrick Hahn, gives detailed information about developing a safe, slow speed strength training program for your child that can be done at home with inexpensive weights or in a gym with professional weights.

The Library’s “Hoopla” electronic database has a selection of books and streaming video about nutrition and fitness for children aimed at both parents and kids.

Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. Access the library via the Internet: Fran Barba is a reference librarian in the Manatee County Public Library System.

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