Dental One Associates of Fairfax
9942 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22031

Kids’ Health: Fitness & Nutrition Resource Guide

Good health is important at any age, including for kids. Although kids often have energy and strength due to their youth, they need to safeguard this vitality to ensure that it remains. Instilling positive fitness and nutrition habits during childhood may be the key to a lifetime of good health. Teach kids valuable lessons about nutrition and fitness to show them the many benefits associated with this lifestyle.

Nutrition

Good nutrition doesn’t always happen without an effort. It can be easy to choose processed and prepared foods to satisfy hunger. While these foods usually taste delicious and appeal to kids, they usually lack the nutrients people need for optimal health. By focusing a family’s diet on whole foods and home-cooked meals, nutrition usually improves for everyone. Instill these healthy habits during childhood and they may last a lifetime.

  • Cook More Often at Home: Making the effort to prepare meals at home can be an effective way to encourage the family to eat healthier. Meals cooked at home are usually less expensive and more nutritious.
  • Happy, Healthy Eating for Kids: Teach kids to “eat the rainbow,” adding plentiful fruits and vegetables of many beautiful colors to their diets.
  • Nutrition for the School-Aged Child (PDF): Kids need to have snacks between meals to keep them energized. Choose healthy snack items such as homemade popcorn, baked tortilla chips, low-fat yogurt with fruit, or apple slices with peanut butter.
  • Is Dieting OK for Kids? Kids usually don’t have the need for dieting the way adults might because they are still growing. If a child is overweight, consult a physician for help making dietary and lifestyle adjustments.
  • Breakfast Every Day (PDF): Kids who eat breakfast often have the preparation they need to approach school with a positive attitude and abundant energy.
  • Kids Get Cooking (PDF): Invite kids into the kitchen to involve them in healthy meal preparation. Choose simple recipes to give children experience making meals.
  • Child Nutrition: Strive to make half of a child’s plate of food fruits or vegetables. Offer milk or water to drink instead of beverages that contain sugar.
  • Nutrition Facts: Read the Label (PDF): Nutrition labels on foods can be confusing, but begin teaching children how to decipher them. Show kids how to look for calorie counts, serving sizes, and the types of fats present in foods.
  • Snacks That Count (PDF): Snacks can be both healthy and filling to keep kids satisfied between meals. A chili bean dip for vegetable-dipping would provide good protein.
  • Five Simple Steps to Success: Try keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on a table or counter so kids can help themselves to fruit when they are hungry.
  • The Food Guide Pyramid: Snacks with whole grains can be both healthful and filling. Serve cereal, graham crackers, or air-popped popcorn when kids are hungry.
  • Nutrition and the Health of Young People: Serving children a nutritious diet may help them avoid chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes later in life.
  • Child Nutrition: As you serve healthy foods and model good nutrition, you train your child to follow this type of lifestyle.
  • Choose Healthy Fats: Healthy fats can be beneficial in moderation. Look for omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats to add healthy fats to the diet.

Fitness

Everyone needs daily exercise to maintain good health, including both children and adults. While adults often choose fitness activities such as running or cycling, kids can get the exercise they need just by actively having fun. A simple excursion to the park for an hour of running, jumping, and climbing on playground equipment will satisfy children’s exercise needs for the day. Teach kids that fitness equals fun by incorporating active play into every day.

Activities, Worksheets, and Additional Resources

Build on health and fitness lessons by turning to the Internet. The Web is an excellent resource for information about healthful living. You can find suggestions for fun ways to exercise as a family. Plentiful worksheets, lesson plans, and coloring pages are also available to help you teach your children about healthy living.

  • Indoor Physical Activity Ideas for Kids! (PDF): When the weather is bad, stay indoors and exercise instead. Dancing to music, playing hide and seek, or playing charades are just a few examples of active indoor play.
  • Get 60 Minutes: Walking to and from school will help get a child’s 60 minutes of physical activity in each day.
  • Spinach Worksheets (PDF): Introduce kids to the benefits of spinach with engaging worksheets and coloring pages.
  • Wintertime Food and Fitness (PDF): Just because it’s cold outside does not mean you cannot venture outdoors for fun and exercise. Unscramble words to discover suggestions for winter outdoor activities.
  • Empowering Kids to Choose (PDF): Give kids a “My Plate” coloring page to help them learn how to incorporate fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein into every meal.
  • Breakfast for Frances (PDF): Use this lesson plan to teach kids about the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast every day.
  • Vegetables Worksheets (PDF): Kids may shy away from vegetables, but you may be able to entice children to eat them if you help them learn about various vegetables.
  • Learning About Nutrition (PDF): Use worksheets to help teach children about nutrition and making healthy food choices.
  • Healthy and Unhealthy Fats Go for the Good! (PDF): This lesson plan includes a variety of ideas for incorporating fun exercise into daily routines.
  • Nutrition Label Worksheet (PDF): Teach about nutrition labels with a worksheet that asks specific questions about information presented in a sample label.
  • Food Power (PDF): A balanced plate with foods from all of the food groups is the optimal way to ensure adequate nutrition.
  • Fairfax Dentists: Dentists in Fairfax can provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages.
  • Fairfax Dentistry: General dentistry includes preventative care to help patients maintain healthy teeth.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry: Cosmetic dentistry can be the solution for various dental imperfections.
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