With childhood obesity rates on the rise, most parents are eager to promote exercise and nutrition for their children. In fact, childhood obesity is the number one health concern among American parents. Healthcare professionals recommend that kids get at least sixty minutes of exercise every day. That can be one of the first challenges to helping your kids stay healthy. Of course, nutrition must not be overlooked, even if your kids are very active.
To make sure that your kids get exercise, you can follow a few very simple tips. Encourage your kids to join a sports team or athletic club. Even as toddlers, your children can get involved in organized sports and activities. In addition to exercise, these programs also help kids to develop confidence and social skills. The key is finding a sport or activity that your kids enjoy. Whether it’s soccer, baseball, football, gymnastics or Frisbee you can get your kids out on the field and getting their exercise.
Engage your kids by exercising with them. Most areas have a number of family friendly parks or hikes along flat, paved trails perfect for kids, and even suitable for babies in strollers. If your kids enjoy bicycling or skating get involved with them. By participating in exercise with your children you increase the amount of time that you spend bonding with them and make sure that you take a break from your hectic work schedule as well.
Cut down on the amount of time that your kids are sedentary by limiting the amount of time that they can spend in front of the computer or TV. Today’s children often spend hours at a time with their eyes glued to the screen. Research has shown this to be a leading cause of childhood obesity. Getting your kids to go out and be active will help ensure that they keep their minds active and their hearts healthy. Make sure they have plenty of outdoor toys – from pedal cars and swingsets to soccer balls and basketball hoops – to occupy their attention outdoors.
Nutrition is another challenge of raising children, but it doesn’t have to be. It is your duty as a parent to ensure that even your picky eater gets enough fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Fruit is a great replacement for sugary candy and junk food, and fresh fruit juices and water are great alternatives to colas. Yogurt and granola bars offer healthy snack choices for after school. Avoid buying fast food for dinner, and pack your child’s lunch to avoid relying on greasy pizza and other options they can purchase at school. Remember, what’s good for you is also good for your kids. Planning nutritious meals is a great way to keep the whole family healthy.
Nutrition and exercise may seem simple enough, but they get overlooked far too often. Though with today’s busy lifestyles it’s easy to forget the basics, rising childhood obesity rates are reminding parents that starting their children’s lives off right, with healthy food and plenty of movement, is absolutely critical.
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