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Kid Fitness: When Your Child Won’t Exercise – 12 Tips to Get Your Couch Potato Moving. Tip 5

Kid Fitness Tip #5: Offer positive feedback.

Praise a child for perfecting that handstand or figuring out how to pump those legs to swing high in the sky. Out-of-shape or uncoordinated children need to hear encouragement for reaching even small goals, such as walking or biking further than last time. Remember, acknowledge the effort — choosing to be active or trying to improve a skill — rather than the outcome to help build your child’s confidence.

Children who aren’t naturally athletic may be self-conscious about their physical skills (or lack of them). They may also fear public failure, embarrassment, or teasing. A child may just be physically cautious. These kids need all the support and cheerleading you can offer. Nagging or negative comments don’t work and will only serve to make your child feel bad.

Martial arts is a great way t help build your childs self confidence.

Reference: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/

To be continued…

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Kid Fitness: When Your Child Won’t Exercise – 12 Tips to Get Your Couch Potato Moving. Tips 3 & 4

Kid Fitness Tip #3: Limit screen time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids get no more than one to two hours of screen time a day, whether that’s watching TV, surfing the Internet, or playing video games. But many children spend four or more hours each day in front of a screen. Encourage active alternatives to these passive pastimes, such as shooting hoops at the local playground, walking the dog, or a game of tag, or learning a skill like martial arts.

To help keep temptation at bay, remove TVs from bedrooms and put the computer in a shared space where you can supervise. If you have teens, set guidelines about other sedentary pursuits like chatting on the phone or text messaging.

Kid Fitness Tip #4: Lead by example.

If you vegetate in front of the TV every night, the remote control in one hand and a bag of chips in the other, you’re not practicing what you preach. And your kids aren’t likely to respect restrictions you set on their screen time either. So check your own viewing behavior and serve as a role model by incorporating physical activity into your everyday life. When you can, walk instead of driving. Climb the stairs rather than wait for the elevator. Regularly participate in active pursuits that you enjoy and let your kids see — and hear about — how much you enjoy them.

Reference: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/kid-fitness-when-your-child-wont-exercise

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Kid Fitness: When Your Child Won’t Exercise – 12 Tips to Get Your Couch Potato Moving. Tips 1 & 2

Kid Fitness Tip #1: Think outside the playing field.

Not everyone is drawn to organized sports such as football or baseball. Look for other activities your child will enjoy — like dancing, rock climbing, swimming, or martial arts. And have patience — it may take some trial and error before your kid finds the right fit.

“It’s probably time to explore another option when your child is no longer having fun,” says Eric Small, MD, a specialist in pediatric/adolescent sports medicine and author of Kids & Sports. “Keep trying different ideas until something clicks. It’s important to get non-athletic kids motivated and moving so they can enjoy a lifelong habit of physical activity.”

Kid Fitness Tip #2: Join in the game.

Kids love it when their parents play with them. So encourage children’s fitness by taking a family hike. Have a game of catch. Walk or bike to school together. Play hopscotch. “You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or special classes to encourage your child to exercise,” says Patricia Nixon, PhD, president-elect of the North American Society of Pediatric Exercise Medicine.

More tips coming soon.

Reference: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/

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10 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier Tips 9 and 10

9. Love and accept your child no matter what!

Love and accept your child at any weight, size, or shape. During childhood,  growth is unpredictable at best. It comes in spurts and a once-skinny child can suddenly plump up while his height catches up with his  weight. There’s a lot of pressure in our society to be thin, and you might  be tempted to put your child on a diet during a growth spurt, but that won’t be helpful and may even cause emotional and physical damage.

Instead, help your child maintain his weight until his height catches up. The best way to do that is to teach good healthy eating habits and encourage your child to be active; try yoga DVDs for kids and emphasize activities that keep you all moving and create healthy outlets for all that kid energy.

10. Make sure your child eats breakfast.

It’s the most important meal of the day, and it should ideally be the largest meal of the day to get your child off on the right foot. After ten to twelve hours with no food it’s important to refuel the engines. If they don’t eat in the morning they’ll be tired and unable to concentrate in school before lunch. It’s essential that children jumpstart their metabolism in the morning so their bodies don’t enter starvation mode, which might later cause them to experience difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight.

Some children need to practice eating breakfast. We recommend starting small and working to a bigger meal if you’re having trouble getting your child to eat breakfast. For most children, breakfast should be around 500 calories and should be nutritionally balanced.

Starting kids off with sugar first thing in morning is not ideal. This gives a quick burst of energy and then leaves your child drained. Breakfast should always include a source of protein, some healthy fats, carbohydrates (whole grains are best), and vitamins and minerals.

Reference: http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-get-kids-eat-healthier

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10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthier – Tips 7 and 8

7. Don’t use food as rewards, bribes, or punishments.

Okay, okay, we know, M&Ms have a long history as the greatest bribe candy on Earth for potty training — even the most health-conscious mum will break down and try M&Ms during that oh-so-critical stage of development. Don’t give in! Stickers work just as well and you won’t be setting a precedent for using food as a bribe or reward as your child gets older.

Sure, it’s okay to take the kids out for ice cream or frozen yogurt after a good (or even a bad) football game, just don’t use it as an incentive for a good game. On the flip side, don’t punish children for not eating certain foods — it will only foster a negative relationship between you and your children, not to mention your children and food.

8. Let kids help in the kitchen.

Encourage your children to help out in the kitchen. Even a two-year old can help peel potatoes or carrots. For smaller children, invest in a stool that allows your children to safely reach the kitchen counter so they can see what you’re doing. Or if you have room, set up a workstation at your  child’s height so he can participate without having to stand on tiptoes.

If a child is interested in doing more in the kitchen, don’t automatically assume that she can’t or that the task will be too dangerous. Know your child’s limits and help him achieve success by providing support and encouragement in a safe setting.

Kids love eating food they create. Involve your child in cooking or snack preparation and they will be more likely to eat new foods, including fruits and vegetables.

Reference: http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-get-kids-eat-healthier

Shudokan Aikido helps kids stay fit and heathy by offering disciplined excercise through martial arts http://www.shudokanaikido.co.uk

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10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthier – Tips 5 and 6

5. Don’t be a short-order cook.

Ever find yourself making one meal for the adults in the house and another for the kids — or even one for each kid? Children take their time warming up to new things and if you keep giving them the old standbys they’re not going to branch out and explore new foods. Be patient.

Most research says that it takes an average of ten to twelve attempts before a child will try a new food, unless they are involved in cooking and gardening projects. Learning about food and cooking in an active way helps breed a sense of culinary adventure.

Make the same dinner for everyone in the family while making sure to put some foods on the plate that your children like — then add something new. If they don’t touch it, don’t worry about it, and definitely don’t make an argument out of it.

Try again the next week and again the following week. Eventually they’ll surprise you by at least tasting that new food.

6. Don’t buy into marketing for kids.

Kids don’t need frozen chicken nuggets, French fries, macaroni and cheese, and pizza to keep them happy. Highly processed foods like these are loaded with chemicals, synthetic fats, additives, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings. And even a three-year-old can grasp why fizzy drinks aren’t good for you and why we don’t eat foods with lots of fat every day at every meal.

Since television ads are the most prevalent medium and therefore influential, we recommend limiting television viewing early in life to channels with fewer commercials — or better yet, to videos with no commercials. Use a digital video recorder to record special programs on television so you can edit out the commercials as they watch.

You can’t keep heavily processed foods out of their diets forever, but the longer you  limit exposure while instilling healthy eating habits, the more likely your children will be to make better choices when left to their own devices.

Parents should also be working to remove food colorings, benzoate preservatives, and artificial sweeteners from their children’s diets. More than 2.5 million children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and an additional 15 percent of children have borderline hyperactivity or behavioral issues. Research shows that nearly 100 studies validating the hypothesis that food dyes and additives are a factor in attention and behavior disorders and can increase the incidence of ADHD. In one of those studies 73 percent of children placed on a diet free from chemical additives, dyes, and artificial sweeteners showed a reduction in hyperactivity and an increase in attention.

Faced with the child who thinks he might implode without that blue applesauce, hold your ground and look for an organic applesauce instead while explaining that both taste the same but one has things added to it that aren’t healthful. If you have a particularly stubborn child, do a blind taste test to prove your point.

Tips 7 and 8 coming soon…

Reference: http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-get-kids-eat-healthier

 

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10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthier – Tips 3 and 4

3. Be flexible!

Remember, anything in moderation is okay. Of course, if you eat doughnuts in moderation, followed by crisps in moderation and soda in moderation, it is no longer healthy. Having a cookie every day and balancing it with healthy foods is a better practice of moderation.

While we always want to make the healthiest choices for our children’s bodies, a special treat once a week or even once a day won’t do any damage. On the contrary, it will help make eating a more enjoyable experience and will help your child build a good relationship with food.

4. Make mealtime special.

There are all sorts of fun things we can do to make mealtime special. First and foremost, sit down and enjoy your food. Take time to savor flavors. Children should never eat while walking around.

We understand that some young children have difficulty sitting for the entire meal. In those cases we recommend allowing the child to get up once or twice, while encouraging the child to sit — not stand — at the table when he or she comes back to eat. For children who are able to understand, explain to them that mealtimes are special family times and it is important to the family that everyone sit down to eat and talk together.

Make a ritual out of dinner and give everyone a special task — maybe even let each child have one night a week to plan and help make dinner. Have the kids set the table. Cloth napkins and real glasses set a more formal tone and are better for the environment. Candles aren’t just for adult dining — they can set a calming tone for the meal and will show kids that mealtime is special. Make a point not to allow mealtimes to degenerate into family argument time.

To be continued…

Reference: http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-get-kids-eat-healthier

Healthy eating combined with a disciplined exercise will help your child avoid obesity http://www.shudokanaikido.co.uk

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10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthier – Tips 1 and 2

Eating habits are learned behaviors; they’re not intuitive. So what your children learn to eat at home early in life sticks with them well into adulthood.

Today we are disconnected from our food sources in a way that is unprecedented in human history.

Fewer and fewer people cook meals from scratch because it’s easier and faster to throw a frozen dinner in the oven or grab something from a fast-food restaurant on the way home from work. And the guerilla marketing foisted upon us by fast- and processed-food companies isn’t helping.

Most parents know that their kids are under continuous assault by corporate food advertising — but they feel frustrated by it, and even powerless against it.

In reality, a few simple tools combined with a mantra of “variety, moderation, and balance” will provide you with all you need to ensure the long-term nutritional health of your child.

1. Be a good role model.

Most of the parents we know complain that their children refuse to eat healthily and come to us in search of magic recipes that will put an end to mealtime madness. The real problem most often lies with the parents, not the kids.

Most of us are so accustomed to eating out and buying prepared foods in the grocery store that we don’t even know what good food is anymore. We can’t line our cabinets with packaged cereals and sodas and expect our kids to eat like they were raised on a commune in rural Vermont. In order to be good role models we must educate ourselves first and then practice what we preach.

2. Take your kids shopping with you.

Unfortunately we don’t all live near farms or farmers’ markets, so it’s not easy for us or our children to feel a connection with good, whole (unprocessed) foods. One way to help them learn is to make a point to take them grocery shopping with you. Of course it’s probably easier to go alone when there’s someone at home to watch them or they’re at school, but it’s important for them to see foods in their raw states so they can explore and ask questions.

Take them when you’re not in a hurry and spend a lot of time in the aisles that contain unprocessed foods — the produce, meat, and fish departments, for example. If your child appears to be interested in a certain type of fruit or vegetable, encourage him or her to explore that item; don’t just assume that your child won’t like it. Take it home and let him try it so he can make his own decisions.

To be continued…

Reference: http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-get-kids-eat-healthier

 

 

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How to Prevent Obesity in Children

I found some simple but great tips for avoiding obesity in children in this video clip here:

Combining these tips with excercise or a sport will help your children stay trim and healthy. Aikido is a fun martial art which teaches kids also about discipline whilst keeping fit. http://www.shudokan.info
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Treatment of obesity in children

There are a number of different treatments for obesity in children. However, no treatment will work on its own it needs to be part of a life style over haul.

Changes will need to be made to the foods you and your child eat and the activities you do, as well as changing some of the behaviour of the whole family.

Your GP may ask you to help your child to lose weight, but it’s more likely that your GP will recommend that you help to maintain your child’s weight. So, as your child grows taller, his or her BMI improves and the weight stays the same.

Self-help

It’s important to make changes that the whole family can do, rather than asking your child to have a separate diet or to start ‘dieting’. This may mean changes to mealtimes and snacking habits, or starting activities that the whole family can do together. Lifestyle changes work best for your child when they are long-term, permanent changes.

Some lifestyle and behaviour changes are listed below.

  • Setting goals and giving rewards and praise. You and your child should be aiming to make long-term changes to the foods you eat and the activities you do, so that your child will be able to manage his and her weight when they become an adult. However, choosing some short-term goals to reach may help you to focus and succeed. Give your child praise and rewards for their success, but make sure these aren’t food-related. Instead try giving them a small gift or do an activity they enjoy.
  • Eat healthily. Your doctor or nurse may ask you to keep a record of the food and drink that you and your child have. Based on what your child is eating, what he or she likes and dislikes and how old your child is, your doctor or nurse may create a healthy eating plan. This can be made up of healthy foods which give your child less energy each day than they are using in their day-to-day activities. This is likely to mean cutting down on foods that have a lot of sugar or fat in them and eating more fruit and vegetables and low-fat foods.
  • Cut down on inactive pastimes. Reduce the amount of time your child spends watching television or using a computer. Try to limit this to less than two hours a day or 14 hours a week.
  • Involve the whole family. It’s important to get everyone to eat healthily and become more active so that your child doesn’t feel that they have been singled out. If you’re overweight, you should lose weight with your child. Look at how you eat as a family, try and sit down together for meals and set a good example with the foods you eat and the activities you do.
  • Get active. Children need to do between 60 and 120 minutes (one to two hours) of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.  This can be one session of activity or a number of sessions of 10 minutes or more. Try building activity into everyday life, such as walking or cycling to school or playing with other children. Do activities together as a family, for example, going to the park and playing football. Help your child to choose more structured activities that they enjoy, for example dancing or swimming.
 
Reference: http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/o/child-obesity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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