Preventative health in children is an important topic to focus on as this can set the foundation for optimal lifelong health. Teaching kids to eat right and stay active can implement lasting values and help prevent disease. Here are some simple tips to help you and your family Keep Fit & Healthy and have fun!
Since kids spend the majority of their time at school, making sure that they are getting their essential nutrients from a diet dense in anti-oxidants, protein and good sources of carbohydrates and fats is extremely important. Packing a lunch that contains these key ingredients can have a tremendous impact in the long term. This will also help curb cravings, especially to the high calorie foods that look delicious behind the vending machine. When it comes to snacks, great ideas include organic celery stalks with nut butters, fruit kebabs, hummus and veggies. Avoid the sugary drinks! Instead, try some water with lemon to make light lemonade!
We live in a society that is bombarded with electronics ranging from computers, tablets, hand held devices, and other media sources. Naturally, our children have become experts at using them. The average screen time for children is approximately 3 hours per day. The downside is that there is a direct correlation with amount of screen time and obesity; therefore, limiting the duration and using this time for high quality content would be extremely beneficial in reducing factors that contribute to obesity, including a high BMI (Body Mass Index). Try balancing screen time with some lean time. Lean time is related to physical activity such as playing sports, walking outdoors, dancing and swimming.
The best medicine is preventative medicine. Childhood years are extremely important at educating and bringing awareness to the negative consequences associated with tobacco, recreational drug and alcohol use. Being a positive role model is significant. Focus on creating a healthy body image by complimenting them on their efforts and accomplishments. This positive feedback will increase their overall self-esteem. It is important to discuss healthy body messages and overcome the media pressure on “ideal” images for both girls and boys.
Healthy Mind and Spirit
Helping and guiding children through mental and emotional health behaviors is as important as addressing physical needs. Whether it is related to temper tantrums or going through puberty, having a supportive family and friends can help improve the development process. Some great ways to improve this area include finding time for spiritual practices, meditation and relaxation. This is a wonderful way to get kids involved in the community and challenges them to learn a new hobby or skill.