Have kids? If so, you know how our culture and the internet can interfere with parental guidance. They would much rather pay attention to “so-called” experts on Tiktok than listen to their parents. The good news is that you can counter almost everything the world puts in front of your kids. It takes patience and fortitude, but it can be done. To help you get started, here is your guide to raising healthy active kids.
Replace Screen Time With Active Time
This starts with limiting how much time your children spend on their devices. Healthy nutrition and 60 minutes of physical activity can protect your kids from diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases later in life. Start with that premise.
Pay attention to how much time your child is watching TV or using devices. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than 2 hours of TV time a day.
The 60 minutes of physical activity can be broken into sections throughout the day. Get involved in your child(ren)’s activities:
- Encourage them to try out for sports and then cheer for them at their games
- Play catch with them in the backyard or kick a soccer ball
- Play outdoor games like hopscotch
- Go on walks with them (and talk about what you see)
Remove the TV, computer, and other devices out of the bedroom and place them in an area where you can monitor their use. Reducing their amount of screen time gives you additional opportunities for your child to be more active.
Be Sure Kids Are Getting Enough ZZZs
Having a regular bedtime and sticking to it will promote better school performance and less behavior problems. Preschoolers need 10-13 hrs, after kindergarten they need 9-11 hours. Children should always be in bed before 9 PM.
Encourage Healthy Choices
Your children will always pay attention to what you are doing, so be a good model when it comes to nutrition. Always have plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables available. Eat breakfast together, and try to have dinner together whenever possible.
Some other ideas include:
- Cook together.
- Grow a family garden and then harvest the herbs and veggies.
- Encourage trying new foods like a “New Foods Friday,” and choose something they don’t usually eat.
- Include high-fiber foods in your child’s diet.
Healthy active kids will become healthy active adults, and isn’t that what all parents want?
Contact PediatriCare of Northern Virginia at (703) 330-3939 for additional suggestions for raising healthy active kids.