Healthy Children - December 2013

Growing Healthy

5 Fruits and Vegetables a Day

  • Go for the Rainbow. Each month, pick a color from the rainbow and try to eat a new fruit or veggie of that color (green, purple, orange, yellow, red). It’s a great way for little ones to learn colors while you’re all eating healthy.
  • Whenever possible, let your child help get fruits and veggies ready to serve. Maybe he can wash an apple or mix the salad. Your little chef may be more likely to try foods that he helps to prepare.
  • Ever feel like fresh fruits and veggies are just too expensive? Try using frozen ones for a few meals every week.

2 Hours or Less of Screen Time a Day

  • A great way to cut down on screen time is to make a “no television (or computer) while eating” rule.
  • If your children are watching TV, watch with them. Use commercial breaks for an activity break – hula hoop, dance, or come up with a crazy new way to do jumping jacks.
  • If you need a break and want to let your child watch TV, set a timer for 30 minutes. You can get a lot done and you’ll know how long they watched.
  • Television in your child’s bedroom might seem like a convenience but watching TV close to bedtime can affect your child’s ability to sleep.

1 Hour of Active Play or Physical Activity a Day

  • An hour of active play might seem like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at one time.  Try being active for 10-15 minutes several times each day.
  • What were your favorite active games when you were a child? They might seem old school to you but they’ll be new to your child. Try one today.
  • Rain or bad weather has you stuck in the house? Don’t let it keep you and your child from being active together. Try one of these fun activities:
    • Have an indoor parade.
    • Set up a scavenger hunt inside.
    • Start your own indoor Olympics – who can jump on one foot the longest or do the most sit ups?

0 Sugary Drinks a Day

  • Serve milk with meals and offer water at snack time.
  • Let your child pick their favorite “bid kid” cup to use for water.
  • Think plain water is too boring? Try adding a fruit slice (like orange) for natural flavor.
  • Avoid buying juice – if it’s not in the house, no one can drink it.
  • If you’re still trying to cut sugary drinks down to zero, keep up the great work! Young children should never have soda pop or sports drinks, but if you choose to give juice, please remember:
    • Make sure the label says 100% fruit juice.
    • Limit the amount to 1 small cup a day (4-6 ounce if you measure it out).