Editorial: How families can live better and healthier

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and provides an ideal chance for families to strive to live better and healthier.

According to the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, the key to preventing childhood obesity is incorporating regular physical activity and healthy eating into their daily routine. If healthy habits are established at home they will carry over to when children are out of their parents’ care and that will dramatically help reduce obesity in the community, YMCA spokesman Barbara Moore said.

The following tips will help families live healthier together and help prevent childhood obesity:

Eat healthy: Make water the drink of choice and make it easy for everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options.

Play every day/go outside: Kids should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity.

Get together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible with kids involved in meal preparation and cleanup. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-on-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.

Reduce screen time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours per day.

Sleep well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule —10 to12 hours per night for kids and seven to eight hours for adults.

The Central Connecticut Coast YMCA system includes the Valley YMCA in Ansonia. For more information about healthy living and family exercise, visit cccymca.org.