Keeping the Family Healthy

All children need a high level of nutrients to support their growth and development. Younger children need a constant supply of energy as they grow, while teenagers require energy stores for growth spurts.

Unfortunately, despite the abundance of healthy food available in Australia and the nation’s obsession with sport, the incidence of childhood obesity is rising. Obesity in children is usually due to a combination of factors such as poor eating habits, their genetic makeup and lack of exercise. Raising healthy kids is being neglected!!!

Children nowadays also tend to be driven to their many structured activities and have less available time for unstructured play such as bike riding, skipping or playing hide and seek. Additionally, children appear to consume more fast food, which is high in saturated fat, sugar and calories and low in nutrition.

It is important that weight control is a family affair and that family members support one another. Children need to learn from a young age what are ‘everyday foods’ eg. Fruit, Cereals and Breads, Vegetables, Lean Meats, and some Dairy Products and what are ‘special occasion foods’ eg. Sweets, ice cream, cakes and fried foods.

TIP:

• Make food fun. Instead of plain fruit and vegetables platter, arrange the food items in the shape of a face or a person. You can also use toothpicks and get creative.

• Raising healthy kids to help in the kitchen when you or your partners are cooking the family dinner. Children love to be creative.

• Do not reward your children with food.

• Make sure healthy kids have a balanced breakfast. For example, scrambled eggs rather than coco puffs.

• Provide plenty of cool filtered water to satisfy children’s thirst rather than having juice or soft drink in the house.

• Limit TV watching or computer games. Read the TV guide together and agree on programs that the children are allowed to watch.

• Make exercise fun and a family experience eg. Go for a bush walk, fly a kite etc.

• Children are great imitators, so set a good example. You cannot expect a child to eat a salad while Mum and Dad eat deep fried fish and chips.

Fun Exercises For Kids

We see kids in a playground and know fun exercises for kids are so very important for two reasons health and self esteem. Kids feel if they can keep up on the field, they can do it anywhere. Let’s show you how.

Benefits Of Exercise

Everyone can benefit from regular exercise especially our kids. Kids who are active will:

• have stronger muscles and bones

• have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat

• be less likely to become overweight

• decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

• possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels

• have a better outlook on life

Besides enjoying the health benefits of fun exercises for kids, kids who are physically fit sleep better and find it easier to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.

So there’s a lot to gain from regular physical activity, but how do you encourage kids to do it?

The three main keys are:

Choose activities specific for a child’s age: If you don’t, the child may be bored or frustrated. If the exercise for kids you have chosen is too difficult then they won’t like it and become frustrated and give up, same goes for not challenging enough.

Giving kids plenty of opportunity to be active: Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment and taking them to playgrounds and other active spots.

Keeping the focus on fun when working out fun exercises for kids: Kids won’t do something unless they like it, especially if you don’t make it fun.

When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it’s swimming or riding a tricycle —improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.

Reward Achievements: Everyone love a little encouragement, remember to reward your child when they achieve a new milestone when it comes to motivation for exercise. Maybe go for a splash and play at the beach which only gets them and you moving more, or even hire out a favourite or New Release DVD. Try not to reward with food this only encourages bad habits. If you feel like icecream then buy it, but never as a food reward – your child is not a pet you are training….

So keep motivation for kids and physical activity fun…after all what is childhood without fun!!

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