Tuesday, 27 December 2011 19:34

Simple Steps to Healthier and Happier Kids - and Parents!

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In 2008 more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. The rate of obesity in children has tripled over the last three decades - it has truly become an epidemic.

The primary cause of obesity is caloric imbalance - we eat too much, and move too little. Today’s average child does not get enough exercise, spends too much time on passive entertainment, and fails to sustain healthy eating habits. These may seem like significant challenges to address in busy, time-strapped families - but parents can help their kids make better choices that will lead to a lifetime of healthy living.

At Lucky Kat World, we want to offer a few helpful tips – and we welcome your suggestions, too!

Get Moving

Just move it. Kids should engage in at least an hour of moderately intense physical activity each day. The good news? This includes biking to and from school, walking the dog, and just running around playing. Encourage participation in a variety of activities through sports, school and family recreation.

Limit Screen Time. This is a hard sell to most kids - but we promise it’ll pay off. Set up some family rules limiting the time your children watch TV, play video games, surf the web, and use their cell phones. Instead, encourage your kids to “earn” their TV and gaming time through physical activity. For example, one hour of biking and playing outside earns 30 minutes of TV time.

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

Provide Balanced Meals. Offer plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products. Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products, or choose lean proteins such as soy, chicken and fish. Don’t forget about those lunch boxes! Packing a lunch with these foods will help with their energy and focus at school.

Limit soda and juice. Drinking soda is like drinking candy - and juice isn’t much better. These culprits fill up our kids with empty calories very quickly. It’s a lot better for them to drink lots of water and milk instead.

Avoid fast food as much as possible. We know this is tricky for busy families that are always on the go, but with some creativity and just a bit of advance planning - you can do it! Dust off your crockpot and get dinner going early in the day long before the afterschool rush of activities. Have some yummy healthy snacks in the car so you’re not tempted by the drive through.

Don’t forget breakfast. Kids with a healthy balanced breakfast in their tummies learn better at school and are less likely to seek out high calorie snacks.

Lead By Example

Good habits start with mom and dad. Don’t send a healthy lunch to school and then stop at the fast food drive-through for you. Make the right choices for yourself first and set the example for your kids.

Make it a Family Affair

Plan physical activities as a family, volunteer to coach your child’s sports team, and set family rules for computer and TV time that mom and dad will follow too. Plan healthy meals together and teach your kids to shop and cook. The family that plays and eats healthy meals together is a healthier and happier one!

Do you have an idea to share with other Lucky Kat parents? We welcome your comments!

 

Read 1252 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:33
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