BREAKFAST FOR KIDS
Breakfast is the most important meal for everyone, but it is even more important for growing children. Breakfast helps provide children with the vital nutrients and energy they require to reach their full potential at school and in sports activities. According to the Surgeon General, eating breakfast may also play an important role in helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Whole grain cereals, such as Instant Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Blast, fruit or fruit juice, and low-fat dairy products make a nutritious and delicious breakfast for children.
Studies have shown that:
Children who eat a healthy breakfast are able to concentrate better, work more quickly, make fewer mistakes, think more creatively, and score higher on tests.
Children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to meet their daily protein requirements and have higher intakes of vitamin C, calcium, iron, and fiber.
BODY MASS INDEX – BMI
BMI is short for Body Mass Index. BMI is a score that tells us whether our weight is in a healthy range – but it is only one way of measuring if one is overweight. If one is worried about weight, it is important to talk to parents, teachers or other grown up. A doctor (general practitioner or paediatrician), dietician or other health professional can give more information.
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 years.
BMI can be used to indicate if one is overweight, obese, underweight or normal. A healthy BMI score is between 20 and 25. A score below 20 indicates underweight; a value above 25 indicates overweight.
BMI can be calculated using the BMI Formula.
BMI = (Weight in Kilograms / (Height in Meters x Height in Meters))
|Less than 18.5||Underweight|
|18.5 to 24.99||Normal|
|25 to 29.99||Overweight|
|30 to 34.99||Obesity Class 1|
|35 to 39.99||Obesity Class 2|
Eating disorders devastating
It’s heartbreaking to see a child, sibling or friend with an eating disorder. As she (or he) sheds pounds before your very eyes, trapped in the seemingly endless cycle of bingeing and purging, you feel powerless, baffled by this terrible illness.
Eating disorders are potentially life-threatening. They’re extremely common among teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 25.
Many people believe an eating disorder is just about food (“Why don’t they just eat?” is a normal response). But eating disorders are symptoms of underlying problems and food and weight control are used to manage or solve problems that seem impossible to solve.
It ranges from signs and symptoms of eating disorders through potential steps to recovery, from treatment options to learning to eat again. A third of the book is devoted to voices from family members. Family life is turned upside-down when a child has an eating disorder. What should be a time of sharing and togetherness becomes a nightmare of power struggles, frustration and anger.
Sometimes a child cannot bear to sit down with her family because she perceives the food on her plate as threatening; at other times, parents turn into the food police, which can trigger animosity.
One way to control this condition is to force-feed your child. You give no option to your child but to eat.
This method is gaining popularity in the U.S., although that may be partly because of the shortage of and expense of other treatment options. The food-police approach is not for everyone, and making parents responsible for forcing their children to eat seems an onerous task.
HOW DO I BECOME FIT KID
There’s a lot of discussion these days about fit kids. People who care (parents, doctors, teachers, and others) want to know how to help kids be more fit. Being fit is a way of saying a person eats well, gets a lot of physical activity (exercise), and has a healthy weight. If you’re fit, your body works well, feels good, and can do all the things you want to do, like run around with your friends. Some steps only parents can take – such as serving healthy meals or deciding to take the family on a nature hike. But kids can take charge, too, when it comes to health. Here are five rules to live by, if you’re a kid who wants to be fit. The trick is to follow these rules most of the time, knowing that some days (like your birthday) might call for cake and ice cream. Getting fit doesn’t have to be hard work. It can be great fun and one of the best parts is, the fitter you get, the more you enjoy life. The steps involve becoming a fit Kid.
Eat a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables 8You may have a favorite food, but the best choice is to eat a variety. If you eat different foods, you’re more likely to get the nutrients your body needs. Taste new foods and old ones you haven’t tried for a while. Some foods, such as green veggies, are more pleasing the older you get. Shoot for five servings of fruits and vegetables a day – two fruits and three vegetables. Here’s one combination that might work for you:
Drink lots of water 7 Aim for at least 8 glasses of water and stay away from sodas and drinks with lots of sugar. Have a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, and lean meat (fish, chicken breast) or nuts if you’re vegetarian. Don’t skip meals as your body actually stores fat when you miss meals. This means your metabolism (which burns fat) slows down and instead stores fat so the body can continue working.
Start exercising 6There are so many ways to exercise such as playing Wii Fit, running around with your friends, riding your bike , kicking a ball, shooting hoops, skipping, dancing, martial arts, playing a sport and swimming are a few fun activities which will help your fitness. Find something your really enjoy and stick with it.
Eat in moderation
If you eat slowly, the brain has more time to know you are full. Keep a record of food eaten, including snacks. This can help you to keep track of what you’re eating.
Get 8-10 hours of sleep Believe it or not, the sleep you get at night actually helps you get thinner. It helps rest your metabolism, and prepare it for fat burning the next day.
Don’t sit around all day When you notice yourself sitting down, doing nothing, get up and do something active. Even the smallest things help!Go run around and ride your bike daily. It’s fun to kick a ball around, And even that helps you burn calories! Cut down on anything that has you sitting/being lazy for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Listen to your body What does it feel like to be full? When you’re eating, notice how your body feels and when your stomach feels comfortably full. Sometimes, people eat too much because they don’t notice when they need to stop eating. Eating too much can make you feel uncomfortable, and over a period of time, it can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Limit screen time What’s screen time? It’s the amount of time you spend watching TV, DVDs, and videos, playing handheld computer games, and using the computer. The more time you spend on these sitting-down activities, the less time available for active stuff, like basketball, bike riding, and swimming. Try to spend no more than 2 hours a day on screen time, not counting computer use related to school work.
Be activeOne job you have as a kid – and it’s a fun one – is that you get to figure out which activities you like best. Not everyone loves cricket or football. Maybe your passion is karate, or kickball, or dancing. Ask your parents to help you do your favorite activities regularly. Find ways to be active every day. You might even write down a list of fun stuff to do, so you can refer to it when your mom or dad says it’s time to stop watching TV or playing computer games! Speaking of parents, they can be a big help if you want to be a fit kid. For instance, they can stock the house with healthy foods and plan physical activities for the family. Tell your parents about these five steps you want to take and maybe you can teach them a thing or two. If you’re a fit kid, why shouldn’t you have a fit mom and a fit dad?
What Are proteins? http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/protein.html
What are fats? http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/fat.html
What are carbohydrates? http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/carb.html
What are calories? http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/calorie.html
Motivating Kids to Get Fit
With childhood obesity increasing at staggering rates, parents and caregivers must play an active role in protecting children’s health. Eating healthy foods is a key factor in maintaining their overall well-being. But, this has to be balanced with regular physical activity.
Children who are physically active on a regular basis will reap enormous benefits. Studies have shown that they:
- Are less likely to become overweight
- Have a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Have reduced blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure
- Have higher self-esteem and reduced incidences of depression and anxiety
- Are more likely to build strong bones and muscles
- Are more attentive in school
Now that we know why children need to be active, it’s time to get them up and moving. Here’s how:
- Focus on fun. You don’t have to call it “exercise,” just consider it an activity. Find out which ones your child likes and encourage those.
- Limit TV and computer time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than “two hours of daily media exposure” for children ages two and older. When they are watching or clicking, make sure they take breaks and move around.
- Schedule play dates. The key word here is “play.” Have your child get together with a friend and play a game of tag, race down the block or kick a ball around.
- Get fit as a family. Create some funny dance moves. Put up a net and shoot hoops. You could also visit a zoo, play miniature golf or enjoy other activities where a lot of ground is covered on foot.
- Choose fitness-oriented gifts. For your child’s next birthday, consider giving him or her a jump-rope, mini-trampoline, hula-hoop — something that will encourage movement.
- Clean up. Chores don’t have to be a bore. Sing a silly song with your child as you both wipe tables and counters. See how long both of you can hold a funny face while folding and putting away clothes. Older kids can help wash the car. On a hot day, this can turn into water play.
- Skip the mall. Go to the playground. Sure, most malls have kids’ play areas. But, when the weather is nice, enjoy a local park or playground instead. Fresh air always does a body good; especially a little one.
- Be a model of fitness. It’s much easier to motivate kids to be active, if you lead an active lifestyle. Whether you follow a structured fitness program or are lucky to get in some morning stretches, let them see you moving. It will likely inspire them to do the same.
- Encourage walking or biking whenever feasible. This is easy to accomplish if you live near stores, libraries or other places you visit regularly. If you live in a remote area, establish a safe route to tour on bike or on foot with your child.
- Be a fitness advocate at your child’s school. Do you know how much physical activity your child gets at school? Now’s the time to find out. If you don’t like the answer, gather support from other parents to enforce positive changes.
WHY EXERCISE IS COOL
When we were kids, we would come from school and go to playground after lunch. In the playground would keep on running and running, would come home in evening and then again go back to play among other kids. And, we never used to get tired or feel the pinch of the heat. There were no pot bellies, no headaches. We were healthy without taking any medicines, were healthy without doing anything special. Reason being, we used to exercise a lot, knowingly and unknowingly. And, it made all the difference.
Kids exercise all the time without even thinking of it. Just being active, like when we run around outside or play kickball at school, is a kind of exercise. What else counts as exercise? Playing sports, dancing, doing push-ups, and even reaching down to touch our toes. When we exercise, we’re helping build a strong body that will be able to move around and do all the stuff we need it to do.
Exercise Makes Your Heart Happy
You may know that your heart is a muscle. It works hard, pumping blood every day of your life. You can help this important muscle get stronger by doing aerobic exercise.
Aerobic means “with air,” so aerobic exercise is a kind of activity that requires oxygen. When you breathe, you take in oxygen, and, if you’re doing aerobic exercise, you may notice you’re breathing faster than normal. Aerobic activity can get your heart pumping, make you sweaty, and quicken your breathing.
When you give your heart this kind of workout on a regular basis, your heart will get even better at its main job – delivering oxygen (in the form of oxygen- carrying blood cells) to all parts of your body.
So you want to do some aerobic exercise right now? Try swimming, basketball, ice or roller hockey, jogging (or walking quickly), in-line skating, soccer, cross-country skiing, biking, or rowing. And don’t forget that skipping, jumping rope, and playing hopscotch are aerobic activities, too!
Exercise Strengthens Muscles
Another kind of exercise can help make your muscles stronger. Did you ever do a push-up or swing across the monkey bars at the playground? Those are exercises that can build strength. By using your muscles to do powerful things, you can make them stronger. For older teens and adults, this kind of workout can make muscles bigger, too.
Here are some exercises and activities to build strong muscles:
- Bike riding
Exercise Makes You Flexible
Can you touch your toes easily without yelling ouch? Most kids are pretty flexible, which means that they can bend and stretch their bodies without much trouble. This kind of exercise often feels really good, like when you take a big stretch in the morning after waking up. Being flexible is having “full range of motion,” which means you can move your arms and legs freely without feeling tightness or pain. It’s easy to find things to do for good flexibility:
- tumbling and gymnastics
- dancing, especially ballet
- martial arts
- simple stretches, such as touching your toes or side stretches
Exercise Keeps the Balance
Food gives your body fuel in the form of calories, which are a kind of energy. Your body needs a certain amount of calories every day just to function, breathe, walk around, and do all the basic stuff. But if you’re active, your body needs an extra measure of calories or energy. If you’re not very active, your body won’t need as many calories. Whatever your calorie need is, if you eat enough to meet that need, your body weight will stay about the same. If you eat more calories than your body needs, it may be stored as excess fat.
Exercise Makes You Feel Good
It feels good to have a strong, flexible body that can do all the activities you enjoy – like running, jumping, and playing with your friends. It’s also fun to be good at something, like scoring a basket, hitting a home run, or perfecting a dive. But you may not know that exercising can actually put you in a better mood. When you exercise, your brain releases a chemical called endorphins which may make you feel happier. It’s just another reason why exercise is cool!