Celebrate Child Health Day

On Child Health Day, the emphasis is to help raise awareness and a commitment to teaching children the benefits of good health and teaching parents how they can help and protect their children with good nutrition, year round fitness and exercise.

The proclamation of Child Health Day was in 1928 by Calvin Coolidge to increase awareness of health issues facing the children in the U.S. including health issues, healthy eating, fitness, child’s development, immunizations, preventing injuries, and more.

Our children's health is vital for our Nation's future!

Our children’s habits are very important for our future’s health. Here are a few tips to get their health off to a great start:

1.)    Encourage healthy eating habits.
There’s no great secret to healthy eating because small changes every day can lead you in the direction of victory of great health.  Help your children develop healthy eating habits:

  • Provide plenty of nutrient rich foods -vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products, low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein. Limit foods that do not provide vitamins and minerals and only provide empty calories. (e.g., foods high in sugar and saturated fat like fried foods and candy).
  • Serve reasonably-sized portions to prevent from overeating.
  • Serve milk with meals to get your three servings of dairy in that you need a day and encourage your family to drink lots of water and. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages like soda.

2.)    Lighten up your recipes.
The recipes that you may prepare regularly, with just a few changes, can be healthier and just as satisfying. For new ideas about how to add more vitamins and minerals to your daily diet check out the recipe database from the http://www.nutrientrichfoods.org/recipes. This database enables you to find tasty recipes that fit your nutritional needs.

3.)     Remove low nutrient/calorie rich temptations!
Although everything can be enjoyed in moderation, reducing the calorie-rich temptations of high-fat and high-sugar, or salty snacks can also help your children develop healthy eating habits. Instead only allow your children to eat them sometimes, so that they truly will be treats! Here are examples of easy-to-prepare, low-fat and low-sugar treats that are 100 calories or less:

  • A medium-size apple or banana
  • Cheese stick
  • 1 cup blueberries or 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers with 2 tbsp. hummus

4.)  Get Moving and Stay Active!

Another part of balancing calories is to engage in an appropriate amount of physical activity and avoid too much sedentary time.  Children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily. Remember that children imitate adults. Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you.
Some examples of moderate intensity physical activity include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Playing tag
  • Jumping rope
  • Swimming
  • Dancing

The most important tip of all is to make good health fun!