Routines should always include scheduled, nutritional meals and snacks, as well as movement or exercise. Unfortunately, with our hectic schedules, sometimes, both fall at the wayside, even for our children. Since childhood obesity has increased in recent years, many have looked for solutions to help the millions of American children dealing with this problem. Remember, obesity can compromise your child’s health when they are younger, and it can also have repercussions as they grow into adulthood. To help your child achieve better health, start with these suggestions.
Start each day with a healthy breakfast.
Studies show that a breakfast low in sugar and high in protein can give your child an energy boost that will last throughout the whole morning. Having breakfast has also been proven to enhance academic performance. Instead of allowing children to consume sugary cereals or fruit juices, choose eggs, lean protein (like turkey sausage), or Greek yogurt.
Cut down on junk food and offer healthy snacks.
No surprise here – healthy snacking is key to better overall health. Stock your kitchen with cut-up vegetables and fruit instead of chips and candy. Other easy snack ideas include whole-grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, light popcorn, baked chips and low-fat dip, nuts, granola bars, and raisins.
Limit screen time to less than two hours per day.
Kids that spend too much time in front of screens tend to be less physically active. If your child often uses the computer, plays video games, and/or watches television, find a way to reduce screen time. One of the best ways to do this is by setting a schedule for screen time. You may also want to use a timer, so your kids know how much time they are allowed each day.
Get moving … and don’t stop!
Daily play outdoors, riding a bike, playing tag, or walking the dog are all ways to increase your child's activity level. Doing physical activity every day will help your child manage his or her weight easily and has been shown to help reduce stress levels. Plus, researchers have found that adults, who were more active as children, have a lower risk of several metabolic diseases, including diabetes, later in life.
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