Raising physically active kids
30-12-2016

Did You Know?

  • Only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day.
  • Less than 50% of the time spent in sports practice, games, and physical education class involves moving enough to be considered physical activity.
  • Children and teens spend more than 7 hours per day on average using TVs, computers, phones, and other electronic devices for entertainment.
  • About 1 out of 3 children is either overweight or obese.
  • Overweight teens have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

Parents can play a key role in helping their child become more physically active. Here are 11 ways to get started:

  1. Talk with your child's doctor

Your child's doctor can help your child understand why physical activity is important. Your child's doctor can also suggest a sport or activity that is best for your child.

  1. Find a fun activity

Help your child find a sport that she enjoys. The more she enjoys the activity, the more likely she will continue it. Get the entire family involved. It is a great way to spend time together.

  1. Choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate

 For example, a 7- or 8-year-old child is not ready for weight lifting or a 1km run, but soccer, bicycle riding, and swimming are all appro¬≠priate activities.

  1. Plan ahead

Make sure your child has a convenient time and place to exercise.

  1. Provide a safe environment

Make sure your child's equipment and chosen site for the sport or activity are safe. Make sure your child's clothing is comfortable and appropriate.

  1. Provide active toys

Young children especially need easy access to balls, jump ropes, and other active toys.

  1. Be a role model

Children who regularly see their parents enjoying sports and physical activity are more likely to do so themselves.

  1. Turn off the TV

Limit TV watching and computer use to no more than 1 to 2 hours of total screen time, including TV, videos, computers, and video games, each day. Use the free time for more physical activities.

  1. Make time for exercise

Some children are so overscheduled with homework, music lessons, and other planned activities that they do not have time for exercise.

  1. Do not overdo it

When your child is ready to start, remember to tell them to listen to their body. Exercise and physical activity should not hurt. If this occurs, your child should slow down or try a less vigorous activity. As with any activity, it is important not to overdo it. If your child's weight drops below an average acceptable level or if exercise starts to interfere with school or other activities, talk with your child's doctor.

Remember, exercise along with a balanced diet provides the foundation for a healthy, active life. This is even more important for children who are obese. One of the most important things parents can do is encourage healthy habits in their children early on in life. It is not too late to start.

Ages
2 to 3
Calories
1,000-1,400, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
2-4 ounces
Fruits
1-1.5 cups
Vegetables
1-1.5 cups
Grains
3-5 ounces
Dairy
2-2.5 cups
Ages
4 to 8
Calories
1,200-2,000, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
3-5.5 ounces
Fruits
1-2 cups
Vegetables
1.5-2.5 cups
Grains
4-6 ounces
Dairy
2.5-3 cups
Ages
4 to 8
Calories
1,200-1,800, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
3-5 ounces
Fruits
1-1.5 cups
Vegetables
1.5-2.5 cups
Grains
4-6 ounces
Dairy
2.5-3 cups
Ages
9 to 13
Calories
1,600-2,600, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
5-6.5 ounces
Fruits
1.5-2 cups
Vegetables
2-3.5 cups
Grains
5-9 ounces
Dairy
3 cups
Ages
9 to 13
Calories
1,400-2,200, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
4-6 ounces
Fruits
1.5-2 cups
Vegetables
1.5-3 cups
Grains
5-7 ounces
Dairy
2.5-3 cups
Ages
14 to 18
Calories
2,000-3,200, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
5.5-7 ounces
Fruits
2-2.5 cups
Vegetables
2.5-4 cups
Grains
6-10 ounces
Dairy
3 cups
Ages
14 to 18
Calories
1,800-2,400, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
5-6.5 ounces
Fruits
1.5-2 cups
Vegetables
2.5-3 cups
Grains
6-8 ounces
Dairy
3 cups