Health/Medical
2:07 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

1 in 3 Omaha metro area children are overweight or obese

Live Well Omaha officials hope metro area families will take a Family Dining Pledge.

The Pledge is designed to encourage families to cook and eat more meals at home. A recent poll by Gallup found that 23 percent of families eat dinner at home, together, three or fewer days a week.

Sarah Sjolie is Healthier Communities Administrator for Live Well Omaha Kids. She says even with busy schedules and kids’ activities, family meal time doesn’t have to be daunting.

“One example is a family might have a couple of activities in a given night. Rather than driving through a fast-food restaurant, you know, pack a PB and J in a couple of Ziploc bags. Pack some skim milk in a quick cooler, and have the kids drink that in between activities. It’s just that little bit of prep time that saves time and money in the long run.”

Sjolie says family dining at home improves communication and helps children do better in school.

The Douglas County Health Department says 30 percent of kids ages 5 to 17 in the metro area are overweight or obese.

More information on the Family Dining Pledge is available at www.livewellomahakids.org/pledge.