Health & Nutrition For your Kids
Part of your responsibility as a parent is to teach your children how to lead healthy lives. The best time to start teaching these lessons is when they’re young, before unhealthy choices become lifelong bad habits. Health & nutrition for your kids should become daily habits for life and it’s important to practice what you preach. Just telling your kids what to do won’t necessarily work—they need to see you choosing healthy behaviors too. Here are some tips for you to follow.
Children in the United States are gaining more weight than ever before. They’re eating too much high-fat, high-sugar food and are spending less time being physically active. Weight problems that develop during childhood can lead to weight-related illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Encourage them to join a sport and become actively involved with your teen. Healthy, physically active kids also are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful. Physical competence builds self-esteem at every age.
Regular exercise provides these benefits:
- Strong muscles and bones
- Weight control
- Decreased risk of developing diabetes
- Better sleep
- Better outlook on life
A Good Diet
- Pay attention to the kinds of food you buy. Limit the amount of junk food your kids eat. Have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available. Be aware even low-fat foods may include unwanted ingredients such as added sugar.
- Serve a variety of healthy foods and use appropriate portion sizes. Use the label on the package to determine what a portion is for a particular food.
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of water instead of fruit juice, sugar-sweetened fruit drinks, regular-calorie soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened or flavored milk, sweetened iced tea.
- Limit the amount of time your children spend watching television, using the computer or playing video games. Encourage physical activity, such as a sport your child enjoys, instead.
- Eat meals and snacks together, as a family, at the table and not in front of the television.
- A good diet along with physical activity should be a part of your family’s daily routine. Take a walk, visit the community pool or go for a bike ride together. Encourage your children to participate in extracurricular activities. Team sports and martial arts, while helpful to develop a child’s growth and self esteem do not provide enough aerobic activity to lose weight, so find other activities to add to their day.