Nutrition and Exercise for Children
Facts and Suggestions of Improvement for Parents
Imitation of Eating Habits
Starting at a young age, children as young as 18 months tend to imitate the food choices of people they admire (adults and peers).
- fats, oils, and salt should be used in low moderation
- foods high in sugar should be avoided
- serving healthy foods at a young age helps increase children's liking where offering sweets and soft drinks promotes milk avoidance
Weight gain and Factors Associated With It
In schools, physical education has decreased significantly where only 15% of elementary and middle schools provide some sort of PE 3 days/week and dropping to 3% in high schools.
- 42% boys and 11% girls are active enough to be considered in good health
- Activity would be measured by at least 1 hour per day
- parents are usually overweight causing the kids to join their eating habits (eating faster and chew food less thoroughly)
- associated with Low Economic Status families
- lack of knowledge about healthy dietary actions
- buying high-fat, low-cost foods
- family stress
- not enough sleep
Childhood Obesity and Kids Nutrition PSA: Paper Dolls
Strategies in Prevention
Healthy eating behaviors, regular physical activity, and a reduced video game/ television activity is a start in getting children to a more prominent healthy lifestyle.
- Parents need to focus on good health, not necessarily specific weight goals
- Make daily eating and snacking times, such as family dinner at the table helps promote everyone eating approximately the same portions, healthy choices of food and coming together as family
- When engaging in physical activity, make sure the entire family participates
- Involve children in grocery shopping so teaching can be more interactive
Parents Participation in Learning About Health
According to research, it is said that 58% of mothers and 62% of fathers do not do any type of exercise throughout the day. With this statistic, how is it possible for kids to stay healthy and on top of physical activity when family does not partake in it either?
- Family=powerful influence
- Studies show that family participation in fitness and healthy dietary changes resulted in positive child behavioral changes
Activities done by both parents and children:
- aerobic dance
- jogging and/or walking
- jumping rope
- preparing snacks that include fruits and vegetables
- heart healthy meals
- reading food labels
- consuming high fiber and high energy foods
- meat alternatives
MOTIVATION is KEY to everyone in the family!!!
- Hopper, C. A., Munoz, K. D., Gruber, M. B., MacConnie, S., Schonfeldt, B., & Shunk, T. (1996). A school-based cardiovascular exercise and nutrition program with parent participation: An evaluation study. Children's Health Care, 25(3), 221-235.
- Berk, L. (2010). Development Through The Lifespan (5th ed., pp. 221, 291-293, 439-441). Illinois: Allyn & Bacon.