Nutrition for Kids' Life: Activity Should Children Be Getting More? (WO1010)
November 17, 2015 - Author: Beth Olson
How much is recommended:
- Your children should be active every day in as many ways as they can, especially through play.
- Children should have at least 60 minutes of physical activities every day, right for their age and stage of development.
- Some of your child’s physical activities should last 10 to 15 minutes or more, and be very active.
Ways to add more physical activity to your family's life!
- Plan your family outings and vacations to include physical activity such as hikes, canoeing, and camping trips.
- Limit your child’s time with TV, movies and video games to less than 2 hours a day.
- Give your child household chores or yard work that require physical activity such as raking leaves, taking out the garbage, sweeping or picking up toys.
- Choose to walk or bike with your child instead of driving, whenever possible.
- Consider moving homework time later in the day to let your child be active after school.
- Choose gifts that encourage physical activity such as a jump rope, hula-hoop or basketball.
- When your child is bored, suggest activities like tag, playing catch, or having relay races.
- Help your child develop good physical activity habits at a young age by setting a good example yourself.
A variety of physical activities are listed in the Physical Activity Pyramid at: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/N386
- Remember, safety should always come first. Include safety equipment such as proper guards and helmets, and a safe place to be active.
- Always remind your children to drink plenty of water, before, during and after participating in physical activity.
Benefits of Physical Activity:
- Helps build strong bones and muscles
- Helps keep weight healthy
- Boosts self confidence and self esteem
- Helps child burn energy so he or she can focus
For age specific activities:
Age 1 to 2:
- Let your child be active and explore naturally in a safe environment.
- Move with your child - dance and clap your hands!
Age 2 to 5:
- Provide chances to work on basic skills like throwing, kicking, jumping, and catching.
- Let the experience be fun and don’t push your child.
Age 6 to 8:
- Encourage self-organized group games, so child can have fun with friends.
- Your child may be ready for organized activities with qualified teachers (e.g. tumbling, swimming.)
Age 8 to 10:
- Allow your child to try different individual and team sports.
- Begin with activities with flexible rules and less competition.
Age 10 and Older:
- This is a time of rapid change and development. Let your child know it’s okay to stay active. Help them find activities they enjoy and feel they do well.
- Help your child explore activities they can continue into adulthood, like hiking or biking.
- Encourage your child to be active with friends and family.
The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
Kids in Action
USDA Food and Nutrition Service
Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Healthy Lifestyle site.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How much physical activity do children need?
Kids Health – Nemours Foundation
http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_fit/fitness/exercise.html Kids and Exercise