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6 quick tips to keep your kids healthy
Aside from making sure your children are getting their five a day, there are other quick things you can incorporate into your lifestyle to keep your children feeling on top form.
These are things you could look at incorporating everyday or at least a few times a week and enjoy them as part of your daily family life.
1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Of course this is number one and the key here is the ‘balanced’ diet. Make sure your children are getting their five a day but also amongst other essentials, like carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice and pasta etc., dairy products and protein like lentils, meats, eggs and fish.
Base your meals around a wholegrain carbohydrate if you can, like wholemeal rice or pasta and then build your plate with protein and fruit and vegetables. Try to limit foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar – like biscuits, butter, ghee, cake and ice cream.
These aren’t essential for a balanced diet and should be eaten in smaller amounts. Juice+ chewables can help with this too, very popular with kids for the sweet flavour and contain up to 30 different types of fruit and veg.
2. Join an after school club
Lots of schools and communities offer a range of after school activities these days, and it’s the perfect way for your child to get involved with something outside school which makes them feel good.
It could be anything from sports, to performing arts, to arts and crafts – anything that gets them moving, gets them socialising and doing something which boosts their confidence. Swimming, running, drama classes or sports clubs are all great options.
3. Walk to school
If this is doable for you, then this is such an easy win and a great start to the day for all the family. If this isn’t so easy due to your location, why not try driving or getting public transport part the way and walk the rest?
It might mean leaving the house earlier but you’re pretty much guaranteeing your kids some exercise, even if they don’t do sport or an after school club that day! Plus, it’s good for you too!
4. Make sure they get enough sleep
Sleep is a non-negotiable aspect of your daily routine and absolutely essentially to happy and healthy children. If your children are under the age of five, NHS guidelines suggest they need at least 11 hours sleep, only dropping down to ten hours once they reach the age of nine.
So sleep is absolutely imperative. Try and get your family into a consistent weekday routine so there are no dramas at bedtime. Reading a book before bed, having a relaxing bath routine or a comforting night light are all little helps to get your children relaxed and sleepy at the right time!
5. Stay hydrated!
Important for adults and children alike and helps with hunger too. Did you know your body can mistake dehydration for hunger?
If your children struggle with water, why not try flavouring it with a fresh strawberry or cucumber. Try to avoid fizzy drinks and energy drinks, as they offer little nutritional value for children and a high caffeine count.
Milk is a good alternative for protein, B vitamins and calcium, but try to get your children drinking 5-7 cups of water a day.
6. Think about the role of gadgets in your family life
It’s impossible to escape tech in our daily life, from connecting on the phone, to checking emails, using maps or even finding a recipe online, but when it comes to your children, it’s important to evaluate when and where you really need to use it.
Why not create a ‘gadget free’ zone in the house and encourage your kids to take up other activities instead of smartphones and video games.
Multiple studies have shown that screen time before bedtime can directly impact our sleep, so it’s advised to switch off the gadgets two hours before bedtime and try reading a book instead. And essentially, be a good tech role model yourself! If your kids catch you on your phone in the gadget free zone – you’re in trouble!
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