It is important for kids and teens to eat well and exercise daily in order to maintain healthy weight. Childhood obesity stems from a number of causes, both dietary and activity related. A healthy diet for all kids should be varied so that they get a wide range of nutrients. Kids who are active may feel unable to perform at their best if they are not getting adequate amounts of healthy foods, so parents should strive to see that their kids eat an assortment of different foods throughout the day.
Here are a few tips to keep your child healthy and well energised while taking part in physical activities:
- Lean proteins. Protein is important for building muscle, vital to growing children. While protein is available in all meats, parents must try to select the best possible protein sources for their kids. Some meats are high in saturated fats, making them less than ideal choices. The best proteins come from lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and a number of non-meat sources such as beans and pulses.
- Carbohydrates: Popular diets of the past several years have given carbohydrates a bad name, but when chosen wisely, carbs provide fuel for the body. Processed carbohydrates such as those found in white bread, white rice, or sugar are not nutritionally sound, but brown rice and whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas are great for giving kids the energy that they need to do well in sports.
- Fats. Pay little attention to the pervasive hype about low-fat diets. Children need fats in their diets to be healthy. Healthy fats supply nutrients that are essential for growth and are necessary for energy as well as the absorption and metabolism of some nutrients. Fats are vitally important to the brain. They are used for building the membranes around every cell in the body and also play a role in the formation of hormones. Cold-pressed olive oil and flaxseed oils, fish oils, seeds, nuts, eggs, avocados, grass-fed meats, and butter and whole, raw milk from grass-fed cows are good fat-containing foods.
- Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen). Providing kids with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially those that are brightly coloured, will help assure that they get adequate vitamins and minerals. Spinach, peppers, squash, and carrots are good choices, and when teamed with a nice assortment of fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and citrus fruits, it makes it easy for kids to fill up on good-for-them foods.
- Minerals. Calcium and iron are important minerals for active, growing kids, so encouraging the consumption of yoghurt, cheese, and green, leafy veggies for calcium and lean red meat, chicken, tuna, and whole, fortified grains for iron will help kids to stay energised throughout their activities.
- Make sure your child eats breakfast every day. Breakfast provides your child with the energy he or she needs to listen and learn in school. Skipping breakfast can leave your child hungry, tired, and looking for less healthy foods later in the day.
- Be aware that some high-fat or high-sugar foods and beverages may be strongly marketed to kids. Usually these products are associated with cartoon characters, offer free toys, and come in bright packages. Talk with your child about the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods-even if these foods are not often advertised on TV or in stores.
- Hydration: When children participate in sports, they lose a significant amount of fluids due to sweating. Your child should not only drink the right fluids during performance but throughout the day too in order to insure proper hydration.
- Vitamin D is a biggie at the moment. It helps the body to absorb calcium and is synthesized in the skin from sun light. Playing sports outside in the sunlight is therefore really helpful to a child’s vitamin D top up.