Healthy nutrition starts as early as infancy with breastfeeding. Once your baby begins eating solid foods, introduce nutritious foods early on and often. Sometimes toddlers need to try a food 10 times before they actually accept and enjoy it. It is also important to encourage play time as soon as they start crawling and walking. As your children grow, continue to help them live a healthy active lifestyle.
To lead a healthy active life, families can strive to reach these goals:
- 5 fruits and vegetables a day,
- 2 hours or less of screen time (TV, computer, video games) per day,
- 1 hour of physical activity a day, and
- 0 limit sugar-sweetened drinks.
To help children live healthy active lives, parents can:
- be role models themselves by making healthy eating and daily physical activity the norm for their family.
- create a home where healthy choices are available and encouraged.
- make it fun – find ways to engage your children such as: playing a game of tag, cooking healthy meals together, creating a rainbow shopping list to find colorful fruits and vegetables, go on a walking scavenger hunt through the neighborhood, or grow a family garden.
In addition to 5, 2, 1, 0, families can make small changes in their family routines to help everyone lead healthier active lives. Try:
- Eating breakfast every day;
- Eating low-fat dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese;
- Regularly eating meals together as a family;
- Limiting fast food, take out food, and eating out at restaurants;
- Preparing foods at home as a family;
- Eating a diet rich in calcium; and
- Eating a high fiber diet.
Help your children form healthy habits now. Healthy active children are more likely to be healthy active adults!
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2010). The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.