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Nutrition for Kids' Life: Activity Should Children Be Getting More? (WO1010)

November 17, 2015 - Author: Beth Olson

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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.

Further Information

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
www.fitness.gov/funfit/kidsinaction/kidsinaction_06.html
Kids in Action

USDA Food and Nutrition Service
www.fns.usda.gov/eatsmartplayhardhealthylifestyle/
Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Healthy Lifestyle site.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/children. html
How much physical activity do children need?

Kids Health – Nemours Foundation
http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_fit/fitness/exercise.html Kids and Exercise

Tags: food & health, physical activity


Related Topic Areas

Physical Activity, Food & Health

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