Children like to mimic what adults eat, so be a good example by having fruits and vegetables on your plate at dinnertime. Have more sit down meals at home instead of restaurants, where foods are tainted with sugar, artificial flavorings, and excess calories and fats (including meals that are considered healthy). Get your children involved with the grocery shopping and cooking! This is a good opportunity to teach them about reading labels and letting them choose some of the healthy products they would enjoy eating, as well as the fun of preparing them.
Always keep a variety of healthy foods on hand such as fruits, raw vegetables, and whole grain snacks instead of cookies, chips and candy. Packing a healthy lunch is a great solution for keeping your adolescent on the right nutrition track. Grilled chicken and fresh veggies on whole wheat bread and a piece of fruit is a much better lunch than cold cuts and chips, or the unhealthy foods often served in school cafeterias.
The ideas above will also help aid a child who is already obese and needs to lose weight. Limited portion size is also very helpful!
Activities and Programs
1. School Sports
When children reach the age of adolescence, their coordination and attention span improves greatly. They also start to understand the concept of teamwork. This is the time they should be introduced to organized activities such as t-ball, swimming, gymnastics, track and field, and martial arts – just to name a few. If your child isn’t interested in team sports, he or she can be introduced into other physical activities such as rollerblading, dancing and hiking
2. Outside School
Outside of the school grounds, children can be physically active in their own backyard or while with friends doing fun
activities like bicycling, climbing trees, playing ball and skateboarding. Try to limit time with the TV and video games and encourage your child to play and exercise. You can keep your child active by participating in physical activities
with them; even something simple like taking the family dog for a walk will get your child moving and having fun
There are also clubs like 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Little League and many other competitive (and not-so-competitive) community sports clubs for kids of all ages.