Healthy holiday routines for kids
This holiday is the perfect time for parents to share healthy holiday habits with their children – it will allow for quality time as a family and even teach them a thing or two.
Naazneen Khan, Health and Wellness Manager at Nestlé South Africa, says that forming heathy habits in children from an early age is vital, not only for their health as kids but for the rest of their lives.
Below, Naazneen shares a few healthy holiday routine ideas that will put you on track to leading a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Great snack ideas
Get into the habit of eating fruit these holidays. Fruits provide vital nutrients such as potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin C and folate (folic acid), which helps produce and maintain new cells and is great
for child growth and development.
On average, children aged between nine and thirteen need approximately 28 grams of fibre a day in order to assist digestion, regulate bowel movements and maintain balanced blood sugar levels.
Berries and apples are fantastic snack options as they both contain high levels of fibre. One cup of blueberries or one large apple has approximately 4 to 6 grams of fibre.
As an extra bonus, most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and have no cholesterol.
Here are a five tips on how to increase the amount of fruits your children eat on a daily basis:
- Add variety – buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh fruit, so that you always have a supply on hand.
- Keep visible reminders – keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table or in the refrigerator so that it’s easy for you children to reach them.
- Don’t forget the fibre – use whole or cut-up fruit, rather than juice, to benefit from the dietary fibre provided by fruits. Fruit juice, even 100%, can add unnecessary
kilojoules and often lacks the fibre your children need.
- Include fruit at breakfast –top up your cereal with bananas, peaches, or strawberries; add grated apple to pancakes or try fruit mixed with fat-free or low-fat yoghurt.
- 5. Experiment with fruit at dinner– add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections. Choose a fresh fruit salad as a dessert.
Grow your child’s interest in fruits and vegetables
One of the best ways to get kids enthusiastic about eating fruits and vegetables is to teach them how to grow and harvest them. Let your children choose what they would like to grow and
then spend the weekend buying the seeds/ small shrubs, the necessary equipment and finding the perfect pot or container to plant them in.
Remember that plants may require different seasons to grow optimally, so try and do a bit of research before you get digging. April, for example, is a great month to plant carrots as
warmer summer months are more favourable to strawberries and tomatoes.
Growing juicy carrots is as simple as following these six easy steps:
Step 1: Buy a pot that is at least 40cm deep which has good drainage, enough multipurpose compost to fill the pot and a packet of carrot seeds from your local gardening store.
Step 2: Fill the pot with the multipurpose compost, water well and allow the water to drain so the soil is damp and not wet.
Step 3: Scatter the seeds thinly over the surface and cover with a fine layer of compost.
Step 4: Place the pot in full sun and keep the compost moist to avoid them drying out.
Step 5: Germination takes between 14 to 21 days. Once seedlings appear, gently pull out the weaker plants, leaving a few centimetres of space between each carrot.
Step 6: After approximately 12 weeks you’ll be able to harvest your carrots. Gently pull them out of the ground with a utensil to try and loosen the soil around it. Enjoy!
It’s easy to get into the habit of lying on the couch and staring at a television for hours. These holidays, make an effort to be active.
Regular exercise decreases the risk of developing type two diabetes, helps lower blood pressure and helps strengthen muscles and bones.
In addition, children who are physically fit sleep better and are more equipped to handle physical and emotional challenges.
These holidays, allow each family member to write down one or two physically active ideas that they would like to do over the Easter season – perhaps it’s
playing soccer, going cycling or learning how to water-ski.
Once all activities are in, draw up a calendar and plot them in over the three week period and stick the sheet on the fridge for everyone to see. This will give your children something to
look forward to and it’s a great way to get to know each other and to experience something different over the holiday period
For more helpful tips on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, visit www.tastierhealthierchoices.co.za.