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8 Tips for a healthy lifestyle


                            

We all want our kids to grow up to be happy, healthy adults. But it can sometimes be hard to know how. So here are 8 easy tips to help you keep your kids feeling great. These tips will help your kids to eat well, move more and live longer. Whatever their weight, it is important that children eat properly and get lots of exercise to build a healthy body. The way life is today means that most of us spend too long sitting down doing nothing. Not being active means our bodies does not burn off enough fat, which leads to it storing up inside. If they are carrying too much fat in their bodies, they are great risk of heart disease and diabetes in later life. If they are under weight it is just as important for them to eat healthy food and be active.

1) Up and about

Two hour max- you may find it helpful to set a limit to how long your child can sit still in front of the TV, computer or video game. This helps to make sure kids go outside for play after they have been sitting still for a while. Get them running around after school. We tend to think that they get loads of exercise at school, but they still need to be active out of school hours too. Get them up and about after eating, instead of plonking down on the sofa. Moving around helps digestion and can be fun.

2) 60 active minutes

Kids need to do at least 60 minutes of activity a day to help them stay happy and healthy. But it doesn’t have to be sport- running around and having fun outside count too. Get them off the car and if the distance is walkable. Clock up 60 minutes worth of active play each day after school and at weekends. This includes running around, going to play grounds and kids outdoor games. Get them splashing about. Whether it is lengths of the pool or just playing about in the shallow end, a trip to the pool is a great way to get them moving and wear them out.

3) Cut back fat

We all know too much fat is bad for us. But it is not always easy to tell where it is lurking. Here a few fat busting tips:

Cut down on snack foods as they are often jam packed with fat. Try and keep foods like crisps, buns, cakes, pastries and biscuit as occasional treats only. Grilling or baking food in the oven rather than frying it on the cooker can reduce the fat content by as much as two thirds. Literally cut the fat. Trim off nay fat you can see from meat before you cook it, and skin chicken and mutton first. Draining off the fat after cooking will also help.

4) 5 a day

It is easier than you think to give your kids five portions of fruit and vegetable a day. For kids one portion is roughly a handful. Here are a couple of ideas on getting some good things into them:

Frozen and canned fruit and vegetables count too. And it only takes a couple of minutes to boil some frozen peas or open a can of sweet corn. Get them to drink a portion. One glass of unsweetened fruit juice or one smoothie a day will also count as one of the five. A piece of fruit or vegetable can help cheer up a lunchbox. Try carrot stick, baby tomatoes or a banana.

5) Snack check

Many snacks are full of the things that are bad for us- sugar, salt, fat and calories. So try and keep a careful eye on how many the kids are having. These tips might help keep the snack attacks at bay.

Keep count: many people are surprised when they actually count up how many sweets, crisps, and biscuit s they get through. Keep count and you are more likely to cut down-which is good for your kids and for your purse too.

Do not forget that it is sometimes kinder to say no. we all love to give our kids what they want, but try to find different ways to reward them-stickers, or a trip to the park.

6) Me size meals

Even though they are growing, it is important to make sure kids get just the right amount for their age- not too little and not too much. So here are a few tips to make sure they are getting the right sized portions.

Remember that kids are smaller than adults. It sounds obvious, but an adult tummy is much bigger than a kid’s tummy- so try and give them a portion that matches their size and not the same amount of food as you.

It is also healthier to give smaller portion to begin with, and then let them ask for more if they are still hungry. And try not to nag them to “eat it all up” if they are full.

7) Meal time

It is important for kids to have regular, proper meals as growing bodies respond better to routine.

Try to organize the day around three regular mealtimes- it is easier to keep kids from pestering for snacks if they know when their next meal is coming.
    
Eat together whenever you can. Kids copy parents, brothers, sisters and friends- so when they see other people happily eating lots of different, healthy foods, they will follow suit.
    
They call breakfast the most important meal of the day and it is certainly a great way to give kids the energy they need to give it a kick start, so don’t let them skip breakfast. Try low sugar cereals or toast, and if you add chopped fruit or a glass of unsweetened fruit juice then that counts towards their 5 a day too.

8) Sugar swaps

Swapping sugary snacks or drinks for ones that are lower in sugar can make a huge difference to kid’s calorie intake. Not only that, but it is better for their teeth too. Here are a few ideas on what to swap:
 
  • Swap to water, semi-skimmed milk (but remember children under 2 need full fat milk) or diluted fresh fruit juice instead of drinks with added sugar like cola or squash.
     
  • Switch to snacks like fresh or dried fruit, or breadsticks instead of sweets or biscuits.
  • Swap to lower sugar cereals, fruit or toast instead of cereals with lots of sugar.


 



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