There’s a lot of discussion these days about fit kids. The people who care about the issue ( in equal measure the parents , doctors, teachers, or others ) want to know how to help the kids be more fit.
Being fit is a way of saying that a person eats well , gets a lot of physical activity ( exercise ) , and has a healthy weight . When you are fit, your body works well, feels good, and can do all the things you want to do, like running around with your friends.
Some steps towards being fit , only the parents can take – such as serving healthy meals on a regular basis , or deciding to take the family on a nature hike. But kids can take charge, too, when it comes to health.
Here are some rules to live by , if you’re the kind of kid who wants to be fit. The trick is to follow these rules most of the time , knowing that some days ( like your birthday) might call for some cake and ice cream !
Eat always a Variety of Foods
You may have a favorite food , but the best choice is to eat a variety. If you eat different foods, you’re more likely to get all the nutrients your body needs. Taste new foods whenever you have the occasion , as well as the old ones you haven’t tried for a while. Some foods, such as green veggies, are more pleasing the older you get ! Shoot for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day — two fruits and three vegetables. The more colors of the rainbow , the best !
Here’s one combination that might work for you:
- at breakfast: ½ cup (about 4 large) strawberries on your cereal
- with lunch: 6 baby carrots
- for a snack: an apple
- with dinner: ½ cup broccoli (about 2 big spears) and 1 cup of salad
Drink Water & Milk
When you’re really thirsty , water is the best thirst-quencher. And there’s a reason also your school cafeteria offers sometimes cartons of milk . Kids need calcium to build strong bones, and milk is indeed a great source of this mineral. How much do kids need? If you are younger than 9 years old , drink 2 cups of milk a day , or its equivalent. If you’re older than 9 years old , aim for 3 cups of milk per day , or its equivalent . You can mix it up by having milk and some other calcium-rich dairy foods. In the past few years however , scientists came with proofs on the dangers the cow’s milk might have on the future health ( especially the cows which are not grass-fed ) , so , it is a good idea if you could replace the cow’s milk with some other milk of plant origin , like almond , walnuts or pistachios milk , which are really yummy !
Here’s an idea of one combination:
- 2 cups (about half a liter) of milk
- 1 slice cheddar cheese
- ½ cup (small container) of yogurt
You probably will want something other than milk or water once in a while, so it’s OK to have 100% juice, too and a freshly made one is definitely the best choice . Try to limit the sugary drinks, like : sodas, juice cocktails, and fruit punches. They contain a lot of added sugar which not only adds calories , but in the long run becomes dangerous for health too . And , after all , they don’t even contain the important nutrients your body needs for growth and health .
Listen to Your Body
What does it feel like to be full? When you’re eating, notice how your body feels and when your stomach feels comfortably full. Sometimes, people eat too much because they don’t notice when they need to stop eating. Eating too much can make you feel uncomfortable and, over a period of time, can lead to unhealthy weight gain and other health problems .
Limit the Screen Time
What is screen time? It’s the amount of time you like to spend watching TV or DVDs, playing video games (console systems or handheld games), and using a smart phone, tablet, or computer. The more time you spend on these sitting-down activities, the less time available for active stuff, like basketball , bike riding, or swimming. Try to spend no more than 2 hours a day on screen time, not counting the computer use related to school and educational activities ( And in case you’re lucky to be an e-learning student , that surely should be even less ! )
One job you have as a kid — and it’s happening to be a fun one , too — is that you get to figure out which activities you like best. Not everyone loves basketball , soccer or swimming . Maybe your passion is karate, or kickball, or dancing. Ask your parents to help you do your favorite activities regularly. Find ways to be active every day. You might even write down a list of fun stuff to do, so you can refer to it whenever your mom or dad says it’s time to stop watching TV or playing computer games !
Speaking of parents, they can be also a very big help if you want to be a fit kid. For instance, they can stock the house with healthy foods and plan for physical activities for the family. Tell your parents about these five steps you want to take and maybe you can teach them a thing or two , too . If you’re a fit kid, why shouldn’t you have a fit mom and a fit dad as well ?