Physical wellness is important because we need to take care of our bodies and for our bodies to function properly in order for us to live a healthy life. This includes physical activity, proper nutrition, adequate sleep and personal hygiene.
Physical activity is so important for children for not only their physical body, but for their mental health. Kids should get 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, according to the Canadian 24 – hour movement guidelines.
Sleep is important because in order for children to function (adults too!), they need adequate and uninterrupted sleep for their bodies to work properly. Children from ages 5-13 should be getting 9-11 hours of sleep/ night; and ages 14-17 should be getting 8-10 hours/night.
Personal hygiene refers to taking action to prevent disease and maintain our health. Annual doctor check ups, dental hygiene, eye exams and daily practices of showering, washing your hands, etc.,
Nutrition is very important for children’s growth and development.
Thank you to Claudine, a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and Owner of Nourish Flourish Cherish for this article she wrote about Children’s eating habits! Have a read and please go and follow her, as she has a lot of great recipes and tips for families and kids on her website and social media!
We all know kids need to have a healthy nutrition. They do a lot of developing in a short amount of time and a well-rounded healthy diet is necessary to support all of their growth and development. But do the words “healthy diet” sound like something your kids would pick if they had the choice?
My guess is probably not. Luckily there is still a way to provide children with all their nutritional needs without having to struggle too much. Of course, some of you reading this may be blessed with a child that can eat mostly anything, but for those of you who struggle with meal time, you are most definitely not alone!
So, let’s talk about how to achieve this well-rounded diet if your child is a little more particular with food.
First, you should still try to include foods from the following categories: protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. I would recommend to generally focus on feeding foods from all these categories over the course of the day, or even a couple of days as opposed to each meal if this is something harder to accomplish.
Some of these categories may be harder to convince them to eat, so here are a few tricks.
Protein is definitely a concern for a lot of parents. A lot of children don’t prefer meat which can come across as “the” protein source. It is worth noting that while protein is obviously necessary for children’s growth and development, their actual requirement isn’t overly high and can easily be attained. Dairy, legumes, nuts and whole grains all contain a decent amount and can, in most cases, be tolerated better by picky eaters.
In an ideal world, kids would also eat a variety of fruits and vegetables but we all know that is not always the case. While fruits are usually not a problem, we can’t say the same about vegetables. Obviously, I still encourage offering a variety of different vegetables, but if your child is refusing them you can turn to fruits to obtain the same vitamin and mineral content. If you would like to encourage your child to try new vegetables, you can offer them in different shape or cooking methods. Dips and also be a great tool.
When feeding grains, try to choose a whole grain instead of a refined grain. Refined grains have typically been stripped of their nutritional content and won’t do much for nutritional support. Great options for whole grains are oats, brown rice, quinoa and of course, whole wheat. And when it comes to fats, you don’t want to shy away as long as it’s the healthy fats as they are very important for children’s brain development and should not be limited in their first couple of years. Good options for healthy fats are avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish. Saturated fats from dairy and red meat are also good but should be use with moderation.
So, what else does this rounded diet look like?
Refined foods and added sugar should be limited when possible. Sugary beverages can be substituted for flavoured or sparkling water, even herbal teas and if you are still wanting to offer juices, they can be diluted with some water. Instead of buying granola bars, cookies or muffins, make them at home using healthy ingredients. Making energy balls is another great options to make as a snack, that is full of healthy ingredients that will satisfy your child. Even better, they can get their hands messy and help you make them!
When it comes to feeding your kids, the best thing you can do is offer a variety of food. The more variety they are exposed to sooner, the less likely they are to become difficult. And lastly, we all know children learn from what we do so trying to mirror your diet to what you want your children to eat can definitely have its advantages.
Want to learn more about how to Introduce Solids to your babies or new Strategies for Picky Eaters? Check out her online courses
My name is Rachelle and I am the owner and founder of Momentum Health & Wellness . I am devoted to inspire and promote health and wellness to individuals and families. I want to create a community where people feel motivated to share their wellness journey and to encourage one another to be positive role models in their home, at work and in the community. I offer prenatal fitness classes, postnatal fitness classes, fitcamp, personal training, injury rehabilitation, kid fitness and mindfulness and corporate wellness.
Contact me for more information on the services I provide!