Healthy Children – a priority that isn’t always that easy!
Posted October 10, 2011on:
- Rushed schedules – this includes “over scheduled” children
- Ease of fast food options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
- High screen time – of children and adults in the home
- Increase in advertisement of high sugar, low nutrition foods
- Decrease of indoor & outdoor unscheduled play.
But! There is also significant work being done, medical campaigns to highlight healthy choices and extensive information easily accessible through all media to offer families ideas to keep health and nutrition for their children in the forefront.
Here is a summary of the most repeated and effective ways to promote healthy children:
- Healthy Habits: #1 recommended! Keep family routines inclusive of eating together, learned hygiene, and balance of “commitments” (both yours & your children’s.)
- Physical activities: include formal exercise routines for the whole family.
- Low screen time: get away from the T.V. and computer! Some experts recommend one hour a day for screen time in the home. (www.ehealth.org)
- Balanced diet: refer to the Food Pyramid (www.learntobehealthy.org) to be sure children have their nutritional needs met.
- Hydrate: children are increasingly aware of their need for water. Continue to help them select water over sugared or chemical enhanced sweetened drinks.
- Rest & Sleep: children’s bodies require down time. http://www.webmd.com/ recommends so much sleep per day;
- infants – 14 hrs.
- 1-3 yr. olds – 12-14 hrs.
- 3-6 yr. olds – 10-12 hrs.
- 7-12 yr. olds – 10-11 hrs.
- 12-18 yr. olds – 8-9 hrs.
- Play: playing, running, jumping, climbing, digging and all the other “kid stuff” that happens in the backyard and playground has profound effects on learning, friendships, physical strength and positive self concept. Play is invaluable.
“Habits are a bit like rabbits — good or bad, they multiply.”