It is not secret that the global pandemic has made all of us change our daily routines. One group of people that has been very affected by the pandemic are kids. We don’t talk much about the effect it had on kids because most of us are worried about our jobs and how to make ends meet. However, kids were forced to change their routines just as much as us. Another effect from the isolation is an increase in sedentarism and unhealthy eating habits. Kids were already leaning towards more time spent playing video games than playing outside, but now it feels as if being outside is not even a possibility. That is why is very important that parents encourage healthy habits in kids
The importance of healthy habits in kids
According to the US department of health the number of overweight children in the United States has increased dramatically in recent years. Approximately 10 percent of 4 and 5-year-old children are overweight, double that of 20 years ago. The best way to keep kids within healthy weight ranges is to encourage healthy eating, exercise and nutrition education. Healthy meals and snacks provide nutrition for growing bodies while modeling healthy eating behavior and attitudes. Increased physical activity reduces health risks and helps weight management. Nutrition education helps young children develop an awareness of good nutrition and healthy eating habits for a lifetime.
It is a family effort
Children, like any person need direction, support and accountability in order to stick to their goals. When parents model healthy behaviors, it will be easier for children to imitate them. There are a couple of things that family members can do to encourage kids to adopt healthy habits. Here is a list of some of them:
- Focus on good health, not a certain weight goal. Teach and model healthy and positive attitudes toward food and physical activity without emphasizing body weight.
- Involve the whole family in outdoor activities. Go to the park or walk your dog (if you have one) together. Go for after dinner walks. If you want to think big, sign up for mud races, marathons, 5ks or anything else that you can train for and do together.
- Establish daily meal and snack times, and eat together as frequently as possible. Make a wide variety of healthful foods that include protein, carbs and healthy fats. Let your child determine how much to eat.
- Turn the TV off during meals and focus on mindful eating. Eat until you are satisfied, don’t force yourself or your kid to finish everything on the plate. Doing so will avoid over eating.
It is super important to teach kids healthy habits from a young age. Doing so, will increase their chances of being health conscious as adults. Some kids are not interested in playing sports, and parents might not know what to do to keep them active, that is where we come in! Here at Celebration CrossFit, we offer kids and teens classes and we can provide nutrition services for everyone in the family. Let us know how we can help you and your family develop healthy habits.
By coach Keren