You can help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. As a parent, you can encourage your kids to evaluate their food choice and physical activity habits. Your child’s health care provider can evaluate your child’s weight and growth and let you know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made.
Here are some tips and guidelines to get you started.
- Low-fat or nonfat dairy products
- Poultry without skin
- Lean cuts of meats
- Whole grain breads and cereals
- Healthy snacks such as fruit and veggies
- Also, reduce the amount of sugar sweetened drinks and salt in your child’s diet.
Get the whole family moving –
Plan times for everyone to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
Focus on overall diet rather than specific foods–
Kids should be eating whole, minimally processed food—food that is as close to its natural form as possible.
Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV–
Try to eat only in designated areas of your home, such as the dining room or kitchen. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating.
Make healthy snacks available. Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) to hand so kids avoid unhealthy snacks like soda, chips, and cookies.
Limit TV, video game and computer time –
These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.
Chores to do? Involve your child in active chores around the house and make it fun. Indoor chores like sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming can also get your child’s heart pumping. Make it upbeat by cleaning the house to your child’s favorite music playlist. Be sure to count these activities toward your child’s goal of at least 60 minutes each day!