- Make exercise fun and incorporate structured activities and outdoor play into the child’s daily activities.
- Set a healthy diet, consume nutritious food, and follow recommended dietary practices.
- Encourage adequate sleep and monitor screen time.
- Engage in other activities and be a role model.
- Ensure your child has access to safe places for physical activity.
Only 24 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 engage in 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Regular physical activity has several benefits, including improving cardiorespiratory fitness, building strong bones and muscles, controlling weight, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lowering the risk of developing health conditions.
Keeping young children fit and healthy is daunting for many parents, especially in today’s era where sedentary lifestyles and fast food dominate. However, instilling healthy habits in children early on is paramount in promoting good health. This blog post will share some simple and effective ways parents can keep their young children fit and healthy.
Make Exercise Fun
Young children are always full of energy and love to play. Instead of enforcing a strict exercise regimen, make fitness fun by engaging them in enjoyable physical activities. Encourage outdoor games like hide and seek, tag, and hopscotch.
You can also try structured activities tailored for young children, such as dance, yoga, and karate classes. Taking walks, riding bikes, and playing sports is also a great way to have fun while exercising.
Host a Party
Parents can also host an enjoyable toddler trampoline party. The party allows toddlers to stay active while having fun at home. The trampoline park has numerous activities, such as a foam pit and obstacle course, to keep the toddlers engaged.
Set a Healthy Diet
Although there was a decrease in sugar-sweetened drinks among children and adolescents from 2001-2010, it still contributed to 10 percent of their total calories. On the other hand, the intake of whole fruits and whole fruits has increased among them from 2003-2010. Nevertheless, most young individuals still do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
Consume Nutritious Food
Children and teenagers must consume nutritious foods to ensure proper growth and prevent health issues. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, suggest that individuals two years or older should adopt a healthy diet that includes a diverse range of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and oils.
Encourage Adequate Sleep
Young children require sufficient sleep to stay healthy and maintain their energy levels. Create a bedtime routine with calming activities like reading or a warm bath to help children wind down. Ensure they sleep at a consistent time and limit screen time before bed to prevent overstimulating their minds.
Recommended Sleeping Hours
Experts recommend a certain amount of sleep for children depending on their age. Infants up to three months old should get 14 to 17 hours of sleep. Infants aged 4 to 12 months should get 12-16 hours of sleep. Toddlers between one and two years old should get 11-14 hours of sleep. Three to five-year-old preschoolers should get 10-13 hours of sleep. School-age children should get 9-12 hours of sleep. Teens between 14 and 17 should get 8-10 hours of sleep.
Monitor Screen Time
With the emergence of tablets, smartphones, and video games, children are spending more time indoors and less time outdoors. Monitor your child’s screen time, and limit it to two hours per day.
Engage in Other Activities
Encourage outdoor play, reading, and family activities instead, keeping them active and engaged. Talk to your child about the importance of an active lifestyle and the health benefits that come with it.
Remind them what they can do outdoors, such as playing a sport or exploring nature. Encourage healthy eating habits, too; it’s crucial for their overall development and well-being. Additionally, make sure your child gets enough sleep each night.
Be a Role Model
As a parent, you are the primary role model for your child. Lead by example and incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. Exercise regularly, eat nutritious foods, and get enough rest. Children will be more likely to imitate behaviors they see in their parents, and this will help them form lifelong healthy habits.
Additionally, ensure your child can access safe places and activities to get physical activity. If you have a pet, let your children help with the care and feeding of it – this encourages responsibility and physical activity.
Encourage your child to participate in different activities, such as sports and clubs, that allow them to interact with other children and adults. This will help them develop life skills, build confidence, form friendships, and learn how to interact with others positively.
Incorporating healthy habits into your child’s daily routine will promote good health and overall well-being. These simple ways can help parents keep their young children fit and healthy, leading them toward lifelong health and wellness. Remember that instilling these habits in your children early will help promote good health and lead to a better future.