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Good health is important at any age, including for kids. Although kids often have energy and strength due to their youth, they need to safeguard this vitality to ensure that it remains. Instilling positive fitness and nutrition habits during childhood may be the key to a lifetime of good health. Teach kids valuable lessons about nutrition and fitness to show them the many benefits associated with this lifestyle.
Good nutrition doesn’t always happen without an effort. It can be easy to choose processed and prepared foods to satisfy hunger. While these foods usually taste delicious and appeal to kids, they usually lack the nutrients people need for optimal health. By focusing a family’s diet on whole foods and home-cooked meals, nutrition usually improves for everyone. Instill these healthy habits during childhood and they may last a lifetime.
- Happy, Healthy Eating for Kids: Teach kids to “eat the rainbow,” adding plentiful fruits and vegetables of many beautiful colors to their diets.
- Nutrition for the School-Aged Child (PDF): Kids need to have snacks between meals to keep them energized. Choose healthy snack items such as homemade popcorn, baked tortilla chips, low-fat yogurt with fruit, or apple slices with peanut butter.
- Is Dieting OK for Kids? Kids usually don’t have the need for dieting the way adults might because they are still growing. If a child is overweight, consult a physician for help making dietary and lifestyle adjustments.
- Breakfast Every Day (PDF): Kids who eat breakfast often have the preparation they need to approach school with a positive attitude and abundant energy.
- Child Nutrition: Strive to make half of a child’s plate of food fruits or vegetables. Offer milk or water to drink instead of beverages that contain sugar.
- The Food Guide Pyramid: Snacks with whole grains can be both healthful and filling. Serve cereal, graham crackers, or air-popped popcorn when kids are hungry.
- Nutrition and the Health of Young People: Serving children a nutritious diet may help them avoid chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes later in life.
- Choose Healthy Fats: Healthy fats can be beneficial in moderation. Look for omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats to add healthy fats to the diet.
Everyone needs daily exercise to maintain good health, including both children and adults. While adults often choose fitness activities such as running or cycling, kids can get the exercise they need just by actively having fun. A simple excursion to the park for an hour of running, jumping, and climbing on playground equipment will satisfy children’s exercise needs for the day. Teach kids that fitness equals fun by incorporating active play into every day.
- Physical Activity: Most people, including both adults and kids, do not get the recommended amount of physical activity every day. Instituting a healthy lifestyle during childhood might help it carry through into adulthood.
- Developing Healthy Habits in Young Athletes Is a WIN! Show kids that a healthy diet can help give them the energy they need to be strong and successful in sports.
- Active Children and Adolescents: Kids who engage in regular exercise are usually stronger and healthier.
- Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight: Adults and kids can incorporate exercise into a daily routine by walking instead of driving to run errands or making sure that the dog gets a walk every day.
- Physical Activity May Prevent Substance Abuse: Daily exercise helps stimulate the brain, which can enhance the mood. This stimulation may even help people battle depression, which could reduce the incidence of addiction.
- Move More for Schoolchildren: Kids who exercise for at least one hour everyday might perform better at school and sleep better at night.
- Why Physical Activity Is Important: Kids who engage in regular physical activity might feel better about themselves, and they can feel proud of their accomplishments.
- Exercise Before School May Reduce ADHD Symptoms in Kids: Sitting still and paying attention in school can be challenging for any child. A little physical activity at the start of the day may help improve attentiveness, especially for kids with ADHD.
- Exercise for a Healthier Life: Encouraging Physical Activity in Children With Down Syndrome: Children with intellectual disabilities can benefit from regular physical activity, which may help eliminate obesity.
- How Much Physical Activity and Sleep Do Children and Teens Need? Experts recommend a minimum of one hour of physical activity every day for kids. Kids between the ages of 5 and 12 need between 10 and 11 hours of sleep each night.
- Physical Activity for Children: The recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise need not occur all at one time. It’s also beneficial to break exercise up into smaller increments.
- The Kids’ Activity Pyramid (PDF): Active play outdoors can include games like tag or chase. Jumping rope and dancing to music are also effective ways for kids to exercise.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Children (PDF): Involve the whole family in regular exercise to combine family togetherness with physical activity.
Activities, Worksheets, and Additional Resources
Build on health and fitness lessons by turning to the Internet. The Web is an excellent resource for information about healthful living. You can find suggestions for fun ways to exercise as a family. Plentiful worksheets, lesson plans, and coloring pages are also available to help you teach your children about healthy living.
- Indoor Physical Activity Ideas for Kids! (PDF): When the weather is bad, stay indoors and exercise instead. Dancing to music, playing hide and seek, or playing charades are just a few examples of active indoor play.
- Spinach Worksheets (PDF): Introduce kids to the benefits of spinach with engaging worksheets and coloring pages.
- Healthy and Unhealthy Fats Go for the Good! (PDF): This lesson plan includes a variety of ideas for incorporating fun exercise into daily routines.
- Fairfax Dentists: Dentists in Fairfax can provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages.
- Fairfax Dentistry: General dentistry includes preventative care to help patients maintain healthy teeth.
- Cosmetic Dentistry: Cosmetic dentistry can be the solution for various dental imperfections.