As parents, we know that our children need a balanced and nutrition diet to stay healthy. But we also know that they can be fickle little creatures at times and the not-so-helpful foods they so often enjoy can have a significant impact on their weight, health, and well-being.
To ensure that your kids are getting the best possible nutrition and staying active, it’s important to arm yourself with as much information about kids’ needs as possible. Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your kids’ fitness and nutrition habits by incorporating simple but effective tips into your daily routine. Read on for some great advice from KidsHealth:
Eat breakfast every day
Breakfast provides enough energy to get your child through the day, but more importantly, it provides the brain with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Try incorporating a bowl of oatmeal with fruit or cereal, a glass of milk and a piece of fruit for a filling, nutritious meal that will give your child a boost of energy to get through the day.
Join a sport or activity you enjoy
Kids who participate in team sports or other activities tend to weigh less than those who don’t participate. You may be surprised to learn that even if your child isn’t very good at the sport, he can still reap the benefits. Try to join a sport or activity with your child where he can receive the same benefits. For example, if your child is a hockey or soccer player, you can make sure he gets some time in basketball or another sport where he will receive the same fitness benefits. And if your child isn’t very good at the activity, he can still get some fitness benefits from being active.
Set an example by getting active too
Having a fit and healthy child is important, but it’s even more important to show your child how to stay healthy yourself. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and staying active will improve your child’s fitness and nutrition habits regardless of what he eats. You can also join a team to make fitness activities more fun and social. Find a team sport that your child enjoys and make it a priority to spend time participating and cheering on your child.
Play outside every day
Kids need to get more than seven hours of sleep every night to be healthy and active. But how do you get your child to get enough sleep if he wants to play sports or go to after-school activities?
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Make it a daily habit for your child to play outside. You can either play a game yourself with your child or let him play alone and take short breaks to give him a break from your supervision. You can also set up an outdoor play area in your home where your child can safely play.
Offer healthy snacks throughout the day
You can’t have a healthy diet and snacks that are high in fat and sugar. Instead, offer healthy snacks throughout the day to give your child the nutrients that he needs to stay active and healthy. Healthy snacks can be fruit, nuts, a sandwich, or an apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon. You want to make sure they are snacks you enjoy so your child gets those too. Try to find a balance between healthy snacks and ones you like so your child doesn’t feel left out.
Make it fun to eat right and exercise together
Kids who eat right and exercise together are more likely to stay active. Try to make healthy food fun, and find something your child enjoys doing that fits into his fitness routine. Take a walk around the block while you eat your snack, or play a game such as Simon Says or Counting Calories where you have to do a specific exercise like jumping jacks or sit-ups. You can also try to find a group activity that involves healthy food, such as attending a community garden or volunteering at a local farm.
Don’t be afraid to change your routine when it’s not working
If you are struggling to get your child to eat right and get moving, don’t be afraid to change your routine. Try adding a healthy snack to your child’s daily meal, or try having your child eat at a different time or with a different adult in the room.
KidsHealth Nutrition is a very important topic for parents to understand. There are hundreds of different foods and drinks that children can consume that are harmful to their health. The key to keeping your family healthy and fit is to understand what your child needs and what he is capable of doing. With this information, you can ensure that your child receives the best nutrition possible and stays active by incorporating healthy food choices and proper exercise.