Healthy, happy kids grow up to be healthy, happy adults. It’s a parent’s responsibility to instill good habits early on. For example, it’s incredibly important to establish healthy eating habits for kids and introduce the love of play and exercise at a young age, so children can reap the benefits for years to come.
Read on for more healthy tips for kids about eating nutritiously, spending time outdoors, clocking enough sleep, limiting screen time and staying fit and active from childhood to adolescence and beyond.
Summary of Tips
- Be wary of childhood obesity. One in five children in the US is considered overweight or obese. Children who are overweight are at higher risk of staying overweight throughout adulthood, developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and experiencing feelings of stress, sadness and low self-esteem.
- Practice healthy eating habits. It’s important to establish healthy eating habits for kids at a young age. Fill your kitchen with healthy, low-sugar snacks such as fruits, veggies and nuts. Prepare foods at home when possible, instead of buying fast foods that are high in carbs and calories. Encourage your children to eat meals more slowly.
- Get in touch with nature. Studies have shown that exploring the outdoors improves attention span, improves vision and decreases stress levels. Kids ages 6–17 should aim for at least one hour of physical activity per day.
- Turn the lights off. At bedtime, light from an electronic device such as a cell phone, laptop or iPad can delay sleep.
- Clock enough sleep. Research shows that getting adequate sleep improves stress levels, brain health and overall quality of life.