5 Tips To Keep Your Kids Healthy

It’s that time of year again! The kids are out of school and looking for fun things to do. After a few weeks of summer vacation, boredom can set in. It can be easy to turn on the television or video games to keep kids occupied when you need a break.
healthy-kid
Watching TV means watching ads.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the food and beverage industry spends approximately $2 billion per year marketing to children, and the fast food industry spends more than $5 million every day marketing unhealthy food to children! The average kid watches over ten food-related ads every day (nearly 4,000 per year), according to Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine. Those are big numbers.

What can you do as a parent to help keep your kids healthy and arm them against this barrage of unhealthy information?

Involve Kids In Meal Preparation
It can seem like a nightmare to invite your children to help you with meal preparation. However, being involved gives them the opportunity get in touch with real food vs. a prepackaged snack. It might even lead to an appreciation of how hard you work to create the meals you provide. Let your child crack the eggs, stir, pour the milk or be in charge of the salad (depending on age). Provide lots of options for vegetables, but ultimately let your child pick what goes in the bowl. You can even pick up a kid’s cook book or one of the healthy recipes provided by Everyday Health and pick a recipe to try over the weekend, when your family might have more time for meal preparation.

Give Them Some Choice
Parents need to set the tone when it comes to food choices. Kids like having options, but don’t let unhealthy choices win out. Giving your kids the choice between two healthy alternatives will make them more open to trying new foods. Present two different healthy choices and let your child pick which one to enjoy. Vegetables may not be your child’s favorite. You can start out with “Tonight we are having vegetables. Would you like to have the peas or the carrots?” Have them take one bite to start and build on that in the future.

Be A Healthy Role Model
Parents are in the best position to be a healthy role model for their children, because you spend the most time eating together. Make good choices yourself. Your children will follow. This might not happen over night, but you are laying the ground work for the future. Be sure to eat dinner together most of the time – television turned off. This will give you a good opportunity to talk about some of the healthy foods you are eating. Make fruits and vegetables part of your meals and your children will mimic your behavior.

30 to 60 Minutes Of Play – Everyday!
Exercise should be fun – not a chore. Make play time with your child interesting by making up games to be active. Motivate your child by creating goal centered play. Set up an obstacle course by drawing a hopscotch board with side-walk chalk, kicking a ball over the finish line, or hopping on one foot for 30 seconds. Can you beat your record next time? Play time does not have to happen all at once. Several small bursts of active play can add up to a healthy kid!

Get Enough Rest
Shortchanging your child on sleep can lead to whiny behavior and tantrums. Although it can be tempting to “pack it all in”, making sleep a priority for your child (and you) will lead to happiness. Here are some guidelines for sleep at different ages, according to the National Sleep Foundation:

Newborns (0 to 2 months): 12 to 18 hours

Infants (3 to 11 months): 14 to 15 hours

Toddlers (1 to 3 years): 12 to 14 hours

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 11 to 13 hours

School-age children (5-10 years): 10 to 11 hours

Teens (10 to 17 years): 8.5 to 9.25 hours

Adults: 7 to 9 hours

Whatever your plans are this summer, these tips will help your children learn and practice healthy habits that will stick with them for a lifetime!

What have you done to keep your kids healthy? Did you use any of these tips? Share your thoughts with us!

email
Jennifer Stinson

About Jennifer Stinson

Jennifer Stinson, freelancer for Everyday Health.com and its recipe and calorie counter tools.

Comments

  1. PAMELA RAPHAEL says:

    I like these tips and will definitely try them with my son. Thank you for such an awesome post.

  2. Bonita Cruz says:

    So true, parents are the first role model of any kid’s life. They learn most of the things from their parents and it is a duty of every parent not to misguide a child. If parents are into wrong eating habits, kids will definitely follow those habits.

  3. Katty Carlyle says:

    Yeah, it is a fact that prioritizing a child’s sleep makes them happier and also offer them great health. If the maximum sleep for an adult must be around 7-9 hours, we cannot let a child sleep for a shorter span. Good sleep for a child does not only make them healthy but also keep them away from unhealthy food commercials and fast food habits. Their minds and bodies get better rest too.

  4. DELLA WOOLF says:

    I just love the tips. I think involvement of a child in the preparation of meal can make them understand the meaning of nutrition and health.

  5. Yeah, it is a fact that kids these days watch a lot of TV and commercial ads on foods cannot be ignored at all. This lead them to an unhealthy habit of fast food, that is not at all a great thing. My son is three and already watches a lot of TV, I did not know what to do, but now I have some options that I can try to lessen his involvement with the “idiot box”.

Add Comment Register



Speak Your Mind

*

IDEALBITE.COM IS FOR INFORMATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.
IDEALBITE.COM IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT.

About | Advertise | Contact | Privace Policy | Terms Of Use

Copyright 2014 IdealBite.com All rights reserved.

All borrowed content must be approved before sharing and properly credited. Thank you.