If you have a picky eater on your hands or an iPad-obsessed 7-year-old child, teaching them good nutrition and wellness habits can be a challenge. However, with a little planning and a lot of creativity it’s possible to have a healthy kids who enjoy healthy eating and an outdoor activities. And, as we all know, a house full of healthy kids makes for very happy parents.
Healthy Kids Are Happy Kids
Have Your Child Eat a Rainbow
Well not literally, but you do want to make sure your children are eating every color of the rainbow each day. For example, red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow bell peppers, green spinach, blueberries and so on. This method makes healthy eating easier and can be a fun way to involve the kids with meal planning. Having your children be a part of the cooking process can turn them into more adventurous eaters.
Cute and Healthy Lunches
Sticking to the same packed lunch day after day keeps your children from being exposed to new foods. Get picky eaters to eat their veggies by taking the time to create themed lunches (also known as bento lunches). These fun meals will delight your children and have them actually wanting to eat their star-shaped cucumbers or strawberries with edible googly eyes attached.
To get started, check out Wendolonia, a great blog dedicated to creating bento box lunches for kids. You donâ€™t have to be an expert chef to get in on the cuteness, either! Most items used are raw or simple to make.
Water Your Child’s Brain
The fact that people can survive six weeks without food but only one week without water puts into perspective just how important water is to the body. A child’s growing brain needs six to eight cups of water a day, some of which can be obtained through fruits and vegetables. During exercise, a child should have about a cup or two of water every 15 to 20 minutes, according to EatRight.org. You also want to limit fruit juice drinks and avoid giving your children soda as one 12-ounce can contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, states the Laser Spine Institute Community Wellness blog.
You can encourage hydration and keep track of your child’s daily water intake with apps like Waterlogged. Using technology is a great way to get your children excited about improving their health habits.
The Let’s Move! initiative, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, strives to reduce childhood obesity through comprehensive strategies and realistic goal setting for healthy kids. Some family-friendly activities offered by Let’s Move! include, dancing during television commercials, walking around the block after dinner and going to the park once a week. You and your family can also sign up to complete The President’s Challenge and earn an award for successfully completing the two month program.
Motivating your children to exercise for an hour a day can reduce their risk of many life-threatening diseases. Daily fitness can also control a child’s weight, strengthen his or her bones and muscles and improve mental health and mood, states the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Justin Hernandez, Guest Author: Health and wellness writer, guitar player, single dad