Happy things are happening this month. Michelle Obama's Let's Move program released its action plan to fight childhood obesity. The goal they set is to reduce the rate of childhood obesity to 5% within a generation. To give you an idea of what that means, current childhood obesity rates vary from state to state between 25 and 30% and in some cases are over 30%. Colorado was the only state in 2008 that had a rate less than 20%, which of course is still way too high. These statistics are from the CDC, you can check them out on their website, http://www.cdc.gov/.
To accomplish this huge goal the Let's Move program rolled out a very comprehensive, and in my humble opinion, pretty darn good plan. It addresses everything from prenatal care to access to healthy food issues. I definitely recommend reading the plan, it's not too terribly long or written in much "bureaucratise". You can find it here: http://www.letsmove.gov/taskforce_childhoodobesityrpt.html. I think it's worthwhile for anyone who is a parent to look it over. Even if you are not necessarily concerned about the weight of your children, this is a plan that addresses overall health (which any weight management program should) and has good info on how to keep our kids healthy in general.
Two other things I recently came across that made me really happy were reading about some more gardening programs for kids. This article in the Denver Post features the Junior Master's Gardener program: http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_15066022. For more info on the program check out: http://cmg.colostate.edu/. CU Denver also has some info on why gardening is so great for kids: http://www.cudenver.edu/Academics/Colleges/ArchitecturePlanning/discover/centers/CYE/Publications/Documents/CYE_FactSheet3_Benefits%20of%20Gardening%20for%20Children_July%202009.pdf.
From my own personal experience, my daughter loves digging around in dirt and is starting to notice how my seedlings are turning into plants. I just enjoy spending the time outside with her. I really don't think anything entertains kids as much as dirt.
For those of us in Colorado, hopefully the weather will mellow out soon and we can really commit some time to being active outside with our kids. For those of you in the rest of the country where it is actually spring, go outside and enjoy it.