In today’s times, health problems like diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure are not restricted to adults, but have become a common phenomenon among children too. The main culprit for this can be attributed to their inclination towards fast food and lack of activity. Kids love to gorge on fast foods like burgers, pizzas, etc., and with the introduction of video games and a host of interesting programs on television, they are more than happy to watch television instead of playing outdoor games.
Due to this lack of activity and no control on the food they eat, many children suffer from the problem of obesity at a very young age, which further leads to other serious diseases or illnesses. Hence, it becomes the responsibility of the parents to teach children important ways to remain healthy.
Healthy Tips for Your Children
The three most important factors that are necessary for the kids to remain healthy include:
- a healthy diet
- regular exercise
- proper rest
Habits we learn during our childhood stay with us throughout our life; it is thus necessary that parents teach these three factors to children as soon as possible. However, you do not need to force them to learn these habits; set an example for them by following these things yourself. Let us look at each factor in detail.
Nutrition for a Healthy Diet
At a very young age itself, teach the kids to eat all types of food, like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy products, etc. Their meals should be divided into five or six small meals throughout the day, rather than just three meals. Cultivate the habit of eating breakfast as it is said to be the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast helps their body to develop energy for the physical as well mental activities of the day.
Parents should also see to it that children have a healthy lunch while they are at school. Though there are many schools which provide lunch, its nutritious value is a topic of controversy. Hence, it will be best to pack them foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. Other than lunch, also make sure that you provide them with a healthy after school snack, as this is a time where they are likely to indulge in junk food. Dried and fresh fruits, yogurt, cereal bars, etc., are good choices for a healthy snack. Next comes the dinner, or evening meal, which should be converted to time spent with the family. Eating together at least once in a day will help the parents interact with their children and also to keep control on their eating habits. Talking to them about the nutritional facts of healthy foods is a good way of instilling healthy food habits in children. Though too much of junk food does harm a child’s body, there is no need to restrict it completely.
Fitness and Exercise
Indulging in daily outdoor games with friends is more than enough physical exercise for children. Parents should see to it that their kids do not spend their entire time in front of the television or playing video games. They should encourage them to take part in sports and other physical activities like dancing, etc., so that their body gets the required exercise. Arranging games for them and their friends regularly at home, in which they have to run around and play, is a good idea. On weekends, take them out walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling, at least for an hour, and you’ll be preventing childhood obesity.
Health and Proper Rest
Rest and sleep are two important factors to keep children healthy. Children require 9-13 hours of sleep, depending on their age group. Lack of sleep in children can cause problems like lack of attention at school, feeling sleepy during the day, poor academic performance, etc. Hence, parents must ensure that their children receive sufficient sleep.
Other than these tips, it is important to teach kids proper hygiene rules like regular washing of hands, brushing their teeth, etc., so that they are not affected by infections. Explain the importance of eating the right food and exercising to your kids. Remember, by doing this you are not only providing them a hale and hearty childhood, but also ensuring a healthy future.