It’s fairly safe to say that all parents want their children to be healthy, but whether that want becomes a reality is a different story, as raising healthy kids can be difficult. Children’s health has become a major issue in the United States, as a 2020 UNICEF report ranked the U.S. last out of 38 countries in physical fitness.
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) share that nearly 20% of Americans under the age of 19 are obese. This equates to over 14 million kids in total—about 1 out of every 5 in that age group. So, what can you do to ensure that your kids remain healthy as they grow and develop? In this article, we’ll share some of the best tips for raising healthy children.
Ways To Get Your Children Living Healthy
- Promote Healthy Eating - The first step to raising a healthy child is to promote healthy eating. This means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables each day, and following dietary guidelines for your child’s age. Try to limit the amount of candy, fast food, sweets, and other sugary and fatty foods your child eats, saving them for special occasions and not making them an everyday routine.
- Encourage Physical Exercise - Next, it’s crucial to encourage your child to get the recommended amount of physical exercise. The CDC states that children between the ages of 6 and 17 should get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. Getting enough exercise helps to prevent health issues like obesity, heart disease, and more. It also promotes healthy growth and development of bones and muscles.
- Nurture Positive Mental Health - Another key to raising healthy children is to nurture positive mental health. This involves teaching your children how to deal with stress and anxiety, and ultimately being there and supporting them whenever they need something. They should feel welcome to come to you for help without fear of any judgment, and you should seek additional help if you notice any alarming changes in their behavior.
- Practice as a Family - A central part of raising a healthy child is doing it together as a family. If you don’t practice what you preach, then it’s likely your child won’t want to listen. So, in order to help be a positive role model for them, you should commit to doing the things you are asking of them—like eating healthy, exercising, and caring for your mental health.
- Get Them Involved in Positive Activities and Programs - Another way to help raise a healthy child is by getting them involved in positive activities and programs outside of the home. These can include organized sports, summer camps, afterschool programs, and more. Getting your child involved in these activities will help them develop social skills and build friendships with other children.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta aim to serve the children in our communities, especially by keeping them safe and healthy. One of the ways we do this is through our afterschool programs which provide homework help, fitness activities, workforce development, literacy activities, and more.
Each of our clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club or afterschool program, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!