Tips for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle for Kids
During the last 30 years, portion sizes at restaurants have nearly tripled. Since busy families are dining out more than ever before, that is worrying. In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages are common, and schools have dramatically decreased recess and physical education. Less exercise and increased access to unhealthy food and drink choices are causing poor lifestyle behaviors that contribute to obesity for many children and adolescents.
Parents should aspire to be role models for their children when it comes to healthy eating and drinking, to prevent the severe and sometimes permanent health risks associated with childhood obesity. It will help families learn more and feel secure and motivated to build healthier behaviors by searching the many parent resource articles with pediatric lifestyle tips on our website.
- Increase parental presence at school and at home
- At your child’s school, know the diet and exercise policies. Contact school administrators if you have a complaint, and attempt to influence those policies.
- Advocate for fundraisers, particularly those with junk food or soda, which do not require the sale of food products.
- Avoid sending young kids to school with vending machine money.
- Give your child’s lunch to school and include your child in wrapping the lunch. To learn about the kinds of foods you should be packing, use MyPlate.
- Store the fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator, and refrain from purchasing fast food.
- At the grocery store, let your child pick out one or two new fruits or vegetables.
- Promote the notion that you should always have more vegetables for your kids.
- For Sunday nights, prepare food or a meal schedule for the week.
- Get healthy snacks ready ahead of time. To “grab and go,” break up the fruit and vegetables.
- For cookbooks and tips, check out safe websites.
- Keep it predictable: It is crucial, particularly for young children, to set daily schedules for healthy eating and physical activity, since they are more likely to adopt them as habits.
Kids respond well to the predictability of daily schedules, because it makes them feel safe.
- Eat the breakfast that’s perfect: To maintain their learning schedules, children need the right kind of energy. Skipping breakfast leaves them low on energy and concentration, and later in the day they are likely to overeat. It can be equally terrible to eat the wrong breakfast. They don’t fill up for a very long time with pastries and sugar cereals, and don’t have enough energy for a full school morning. A combination of the following could include a nutritious breakfast:
- Proteins (low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese, eggs, lean meats like turkey or small serving of nuts)
- Hydrocarbohydrates (hot or cold whole-grain cereals like oatmeal, whole-grain toast, whole-grain waffles or pancakes with light syrup)
- Fruits (fresh or frozen with no added sugar)
- The Vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned)
- Eat at home: Eating out daily can normalize unhealthy food choices and over-sized meals for your children, even though it’s OK to eat out once in a while. Kids who eat at home are more likely than kids who eat many of their meals at restaurants to eat fruit and vegetables. It does not take a lot of time to prepare meals at home. It can help to make a plan and have the right kind of food on hand.
- Losing the soda: On average, children who drink sugar-sweetened drinks will eat an excess of 200 calories a day. Krebs states that any sugar-sweetened drink such as fruit juice, energy drinks, sweat tea, lemonade and flavored coffees extends beyond soda to include the problem. All of these have added sugar and increased the risk of obesity for your infant. Water is the best option for drinking, but if taste is the problem.
- Eat the fruit, don’t drink the fruit, Scientists notes that fruit has essential vitamins and minerals, and also has fiber, which makes children feel fuller. Kids who drink juice often end up consuming more calories instead of eating a whole piece of fruit. Experts recommend that no more than a small 4-oz serving of juice per day be drank by children. The best option is to provide water (including flavored or sparkling).
- Play outside: Parents encourage physical activity by allowing children to play safely outdoors. This can include any sport, such as family biking or hiking, but may also include easy outdoor exploration. The main thing is that every day, kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity, and breaking the activity into quick bursts of 10, 15 or 20 minutes can be helpful. Teaches them about takin by allowing children to play outside, particularly with other kids.
- Practice management of portions: There is no need for children to consume as much food as adults, but the amount of food they need can differ by age, gender, and overall level of operation. For instance, a two-year-old needs a portion size different from a 7-year-old, and a 7-year-old needs a portion size different from a 15-year-old.
- Speak about being in good health. Take the time to talk to your kids about how a certain diet or physical activity can benefit them as you learn more about how to improve your health. For instance, bring your kids with you when going for a walk and let them choose the route. Discuss how walking makes you feel better and how you can spend time together in a fun way.
Using food and beverage options for your kids as teaching moments. Speak up when you see decisions that are unsafe. “You can have a little of that, but not too much.”You can have a little of that, but not too much.
Speak to them about why the right option is not an excessively salty or heavily sugared snack. Stop making them feel bad for their choices in food or drink. When they select a healthy item like fruit, you can also compliment your kids.