The last week in April is Every Kid Healthy Week. The annual celebration
of school health and wellness achievements spotlights the link between
nutrition, physical activity and learning. Be part of the movement by
supporting healthy habits in your children all year long.
How active are your kids? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day.
- More than 30% of kids in the U.S. is overweight or obese.
- Overweight teens have a 70% chance of being overweight or obese adults.
Here are a few tips to help your kids live a healthier lifestyle:
Talk to your child’s healthcare provider. Having trouble getting your child off the couch? Your child’s healthcare
provider can explain the importance of exercise and suggest appropriate
Limit screen time. Children and teens spend at least 7 hours each day using electronic entertainment
devices. Parents should limit total screen time to no more than 1-2 hours
of total screen time each day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Make time for physical activity. Some children do not have time for exercise because they are so overscheduled
with homework, tutoring, music lessons and other planned activities.
Create a safe space. Make sure your child has comfortable clothing, appropriate safety equipment
and a safe site for the activity.
Provide active toys. Children should have access to active toys such as balls and jump ropes.
This is especially important for young children.
Find fun activities. Help your children pick out sports they enjoy. The more your kids enjoy
their activities, the more likely they are to continue.
Choose developmentally appropriate exercise. A 7-year-old is not ready for a five-mile run or weight lifting, but
bicycle riding, soccer and swimming are a perfect fit.
Don’t overdo it. Physical activity should not hurt. Tell your children to start slowing,
listen to their bodies and, if necessary, switch to a less vigorous activity.
Get involved. Get active with your children by learning a new sport together.
Be a positive role model. Kids who see their parents regularly enjoying sports are more likely
to engage in physical activity.