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Learning how to be healthy from a young age will help your children get the most out of their school years and set them up for success in the future. Read on for tips on some key ways to help your child stay healthy.

Children + Exercise = Alert, Confident Students.

Of course, regular physical activity helps kids build healthy bones and muscles and maintain a healthy weight. But exercise also promotes self-esteem, lessens depression and anxiety, and helps kids stay alert in school.

How much does a kid need? At least 60 minutes a day, experts say. There are simple ways to sneak in this time. Take alonger walking route to the school bus in the morning. After school, visit the park and shoot some hoops. Or go for a family bike ride after dinner.

Electronic Amusements, Unplugged

Most pediatricians believe that too much screen time—time spent watching TV and playing video and computer games—can harm a child’s academic performance. School-age kids shouldn’t get more than one to two hours of screen time a day.  To help pull your child away from the screen, offer some options. Crafts, hobbies, and books are all worthy distractions.  Another hint: Keep TVs out of your kids’ bedrooms, and keep the tube off during homework time.

Fuel Efficiency

Breakfast is the “most important meal of the day” for good reason. Eating a good breakfast can sharpen a child’s memory and improve school test scores.  Children also need help making healthy food choices beyond breakfast. Try these tactics at home:

• Avoid junk food in the house, and skip the soda. Also, limit juice intake!

• Practice healthy snacking. Good snacks include low-fat yogurt, veggies and low-fat dip, and dried or fresh fruit.  Keep offering finicky eaters nutritious items.  Children may need to be exposed to a new food up to 10 times or more before they accept it.

Role Models

Most importantly, remember that setting a good example by eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise is key to getting your kids to adopt healthy lifestyles.

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