National Child Health Day is observed on the first Monday in October. This day is meant to raise awareness of how people can protect and develop children’s health.
In the United States about one in six children between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight. This can lead to many different health related illnesses such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
Regular doctor’s visits and well child check ups are important for children in addition to exercise, mental health and eating well. Here are some things that you can do to make sure the kids in your life are healthy:
Encourage kids to play
- Go to the park and walk there if you can
- Play tag in the backyard
- Have a dance party in the kitchen
- Draw a maze in the driveway for the kids to race each other
- Play red light, green light
- Have a pillow fight
- Go for a nature walk
- Make an obstacle course
Playing and becoming more active isn’t the only thing kids can do to be healthy. Eating well is another important aspect to whole body wellness.
Involve kids in meal prepping
Involving your kids with cooking and meal prepping is a great way to show them that cooking healthy meals can be fun. Have them help with the menu, mix the ingredients together and learn about proper portions as they help serve the food.
Here are some kid friendly meal ideas to try this week:
- Baked Chicken Tenders
- Homemade Pizza Night- focus on vegetable toppings!
- Tator Tot Casserole
- Taco Salad
- Spaghetti and Meatballs. Follow this recipe for homemade meatballs that has hidden veggies!
Be a safe place for children
Children's mental health also plays a large role in their whole body wellness. Be aware of how you are talking around kids, ensure that it is positive and encouraging. Let the kids know that you are a safe place for them to express their emotions openly and without judgement.
Kids learn a lot by watching the adults in their lives. Modeling a healthy lifestyle, positive self-talk and good eating habits provides a positive example for the next generation. Get out there, play with the kids, eat healthy food, be there for them and allow them to live their best lives!
Happy Child Health Day!