Food and Fitness for Children
Understanding Kids Nutrition is so important as proper nutrition builds healthy and strong bodies. It is essential to encourage a love of good food and adequate nutrition from early childhood. Many attitudes towards food are shaped during this time, forming the basis for future eating habits.
Creating healthy habits now will help them concentrate on school and fuel their day to day activities. It will also meet nutrition needs to grow and develop normally.
A healthy eating pattern includes:
– A variety of vegetables and legumes/beans.
– Fruits and whole grains.
– Lean meat, fish, poultry and/or protein alternatives.
– Good fats.
Junk foods such as chocolate/lollies, biscuits and chips are ok occasionally. However, if eaten too often may result in an inadequate intake of nourishing foods. This can cause serious consequences on your children health and development.
Those nutrition-free foods will affect how they perform in school and extracurricular activities. High sugar content quickly drains energy levels and impacting the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. Furthermore, consuming fattening junk food can be addictive for children. When overeaten it can lead to complications such as a risk of becoming overweight, chronic illness, low self-esteem and even depression.
Children also need to be well hydrated. They need to be encouraged to drink water. Soft drinks, cordials, and artificial fruit juice should be limited. If consumed in large amounts they can, again, contribute to issues such as excess weight gain and tooth decay.
Being physically active is essential for children. According to Nutrition Australia, 23% of children are overweight or obese, twices more than 5 years ago. Encouraging exercise with a balanced diet is the best way to ensure a healthy lifestyle away from complications.
Australia’s Physical Activity Guidelines for 5 to 12-year-olds recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
This could be running, swimming, dancing or a type of organized sport/exercise activity such as football, netball or our Fit Kids program.
Good nutrition starts early. Children don’t always understand the health consequences of their eating habits. Don’t miss your chance to get your child off to a healthy start. Include physical activity in family outing would bring numerous benefits to your children.