Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Tell children that healthy bodies come in different shapes and sizes. Be aware, children watch and listen to how you respond to your own body.
[Insert a scrolling carousel focused on the following five key messages from the 'Counting Down to a Healthy Lifestyle' (attached) using images of parents and their children aged 6-12yrs old]
10 or more hours of sleep:
- Keep your child’s bedtime the same every night.
- Create a calming bedtime routine by listening to quiet music, reading a book to relax or practising deep breathing.
- Encourage your child to be active during the day.
- Keep TV’s, video games and computers out of your child’s bedroom. The light and sound from screens prevents children from sleeping.
- Avoid food and drinks that have caffeine (colas, chocolate, tea and coffee).
5 or more vegetables and fruits:
- Have vegetables and/or fruit with meals and snacks.
- Fill half the plate with vegetables and fruit.
- Eat meals or snacks together as often as you can. Children are more likely to try foods when they see adults enjoying them.
- Avoid giving your child snacks that are high in sugar, fat and salt.
- Keep fruit in a bowl on the table and cut vegetables in the fridge so that they are ready to eat.
- Try a new vegetable every week. Ask children to help pick it out. It could take 10 or more times before children taste and accept a new food, so keep trying.
2 hours or less of screen time:
- Limit the time children spend on the TV, computer (outside of school work), electronic games and other screens.
- Eat meals together as a family at the table and not in front of the TV.
- Replace screen time with active time. Take a walk as a family or invite your children’s friends over to play outside.
- Have board games, puzzles and craft supplies around the house to keep children busy.
1 hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity:
- Provide a space and time for children to be active.
- Choose activities that increase your child’s heart rate and occasionally make them out of breath. Try activities such as soccer, swimming, dancing, skating or playground games.
- Allow your children to walk or bike to school, the park or store
- Have children practice movementbased skills such as throwing a ball, running, jumping or swinging a racket.
- As a family, be active together and as a parent, model a physical lifestyle for your child.
- Involve children around the house with chores such as gardening, vacuuming, dusting or sweeping.
0 sugar-sweetened drinks:
- Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks such as pop, fruit drinks, energy and sport drinks that contain few or no nutrients.
- Offer children water throughout the day. Pack a reusable water bottle for school.
- Encourage children to drink two cups of milk or milk alternatives each day for calcium and vitamin D
- Limit juice to no more than one cup of unsweetened 100% juice per day. Choose whole vegetables and fruits more often than juice