Children today are more sedentary and consume more sugar than generations before. As a result, pediatricians are treating a host of health problems at a higher frequency, including asthma, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and obesity. Help your kid build healthy habits that will last their lifetime by following the tips below.
Give them the right food.
A healthy childhood is fueled by nutritious food. Help your child develop good eating habits by keeping unhealthy options out of the house and your kitchen stocked with their favorite fruits and vegetables. You can also create healthier versions of their favorite dishes, like low-fat macaroni and cheese or reduced-sugar lemonade. Make sure to include fruit and/or vegetables in every meal, and limit sugar-laden foods and beverages such as desserts, chocolate milk and fruit juice.
Increase time outside.
89% of children aged between four and five years spend more than two hours watching TV, videos or DVDs every day – which unfortunately is directly correlated with an unhealthy diet. Limit screen time and encourage your kids to get outside. Take a family bike ride. Head to the park. Plan a picnic.
Introduce them to new experiences.
Reduce your child’s sedentary time by introducing them to new activities. Chances are they may find one they enjoy and want to spend time pursuing – instead of staring at a screen.
Schedule social activities.
Hours spent in front of TV or looking at a tablet can also hurt your child’s social skills. Give your child an attractive alternative to screen time by planning playdates with other children and signing them up for activities where they’ll meet new people and form friendships.
Baptist Health is committed to helping Arkansans live their most amazing lives through healthy habits – and those are easiest to build at a young age. For more tips on keeping your child healthy, explore the BHealthy blog.