According to the CDC, approximately 17% of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. That’s 12.7 million kids. There are numerous health risks associated with obesity at a young age including:
- increased risk of heart disease
- high blood pressure
- breathing problems
- trouble sleeping
But what really kills me is what it does to their self esteem. Obese children more often experience emotional problems, have trouble making friends and begin dealing with body image issues long before their peers. At 40 lbs and 42 inches tall, my daughter is perfectly healthy. But healthy habits start now during her formative years as a preschooler and this includes making healthy eating choices and being active every day.
[infobox]Did you know obesity most commonly begins between the ages of 5 and 6, or during adolescence. Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. – American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.[/infobox]
It Gives You A Buddy
Kids love to personalize things, my daughter included. The LeapBand allows kids to choose 1 of 8 pets, including a unicorn, robot, dragon and more—then choose its name and color. By feeding, grooming and caring for their pet kids learn tips on how to eat right, practice good personal hygiene and get plenty of rest.
It Makes Fitness a Game
The LeapBand comes pre-loaded with 14 challenge to get kids moving. For instance it might call out “Wiggle Like A Worm!” or “Jump Up and Clap Your Hands!” While it’s coaching, it’s also counting down in 10 second intervals.
It Encourages Healthy Eating Through Play
Part of taking care of your ‘buddy’ means feeding them when they’re hungry. Feeding them involves a fun game where kids collect the falling fruits (great for motor skills), making sure to avoid the unhealthy foods! Once they’ve collected enough food they can prepare a healthy recipe. While it’s being prepared kids will also hear nutritional tips.
Whether kids are learning healthy habits or being phsycially active they have the opportunity to earn points that can be used to play the games on the LeapBand or unlock new pets.
The LeapBand is also parent friendly. Parents can manage play time with School/Quiet modes to avoid any monkey business! It also comes with a rechargable battery and water-resistant design. The LeapBand also pairs with LeapConnect so parents can track their progress. This is one area I wish would have been done a little differently. Kids can earn points for being active and learning about nutrition, I wish there was a way to distinguish the two on the LeapConnect. Although I do like the ability to download additional activities. As with any routine it’s important to add variety and keep it fun!
I recieved products for review purposes. All opinions are my own.