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Maintaining kids’ health as they head back-to-school

August means one thing to kids of all ages: back-to-school! For parents, the start of a new school year is a great time to focus their attention to encouraging kids’ health. Often kids are more active during the summertime and parents have more influence over kid’s diet choices. But when kids go back to school they will be faced with the availability of unhealthy food choices and less time for exercise as they hit the books.

A new survey from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that only half of American youths get the recommended amount of exercise and less than one-third eat the suggested amount of fruits and vegetables each day. Study authors suggest that inconsistent diet and exercise patterns contribute greatly to this statistic, with 74 percent of study participants not having a healthy pattern.

Establishing a diet and  exercise routine is a great way to contribute to the development of kid’s health, which is even more critical as children have less time to be active during the school year. Here are a few tips to follow as the school year kicks off to help kids stay on track.

  • Set aside a certain hour every day to unplug from the TV or computer screens  and engage in physical activity instead - could be a great break after homework (The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends children get one hour or more of moderate aerobic physical activity a day, including vigorous-intensity physical activity at least three days a week).
  • Pack school lunches to make sure your kids are eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Produce can be made more appealing to kids by pairing healthy fruits and vegetables, such as carrots or celery, with a dip, such as peanut butter or ranch. Even small treats, such as fruit snacks or chocolate milk, can help steer kids away from less healthy options.
  •  Provide a healthy afternoon snack at the same time every day and establish a family dinner-time every night - family mealtimes encourage kids to be at the table and eat more healthy foods rather than heat-up a microwave meal and eat in front of the TV.
  • And of course, adding Juice Plus+ to your kid’s diet can help bridge the gap between they should eat and what they actually do eat every day. Find out how you can get your child’s Juice Plus+ for free through our Children’s Healthy Study.

These are some of our tips to help maintain kids’ health during the school year. How do you encourage your kids’ healthy lifestyle? 

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