We all try to do our best to help our children be the healthiest they can possibly be. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active
Studies suggest that a lack of physical activity is one of the major reasons for childhood obesity. Kids who play less often usually become overweight and may struggle with this condition for the rest of their lives. Additionally conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are more common in those who are overweight. Because of this pediatricians at Park Pediatrics emphasize the importance of healthy play and physical activity at each of your child’s well visits. With the rise of technology and screen time both inside and outside the classroom; it is getting harder to inspire children to pull themselves away and into the real world. We recommend no screen time until age three and to promote interactive play instead. Also having at least 50 minutes a day of physical activity should be a life long goal that is learned from home. Choosing to do healthy activities as a family can help children model this type of behavior. For example going for a walk after dinner has been show to have physical and mental health benefits.
Give Them Healthy Meals
Children learn how to eat from the moment they are born. Parents can help children learn about healthy eating by eating healthy themselves, sitting together as a family for meal times; aiming to introduce at least five fruits and vegetables each day into family meals; and avoiding overfeeding them. Additionally limiting sugary foods and replacing them with healthy snacks is important.
Let Them Sleep!
Children need their sleep. This is the time when their brain is restoring and repairing cells and preparing for the next day. Children need different amounts of sleep based on their age. Establishing good bedtime routines from the earliest age is important. Dimming lights, limiting unnecessary stimulation, reading to children from day one, and helping to set the stage for life-long good bedtime habits is key!
These are three of the essential tips that will help your child stay healthy. Please remember to check in with us at each of your childs well visits about these important topics.