Whenever kids are home for long stretches, there’s a tendency towards unhealthy habits. It doesn’t matter if it’s COVID-19 closures, summer vacation, or winters stuck indoors. The temptations of modern-day life—like video games, countless processed snacks, and half a dozen streaming services at their disposal—are fine in moderation but accessible all the time.
A sedentary life and poor diet contribute to chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Those conditions can take years off a person’s life.
The habits that prevent them start developing in childhood.
In this video, Le Bonheur Children’s Research Hospital’s Dr. Kathryn Sumpter offers five easy tips for helping kids stay active and eating for health.
Sumpter is the clinical director of Le Bonheur’s diabetes program and founder of its Fresh Start Clinic. The clinic provides family-centered care and education for kids with Type I diabetes and those most at risk for developing Type II.
Is money tight? Here are some lower-cost ways to incorporate Dr. Sumpter’s tips.
Eating for health:
- There’s evidence frozen vegetables have more nutrients than fresh vegetables, and they’re cheaper. Canned produce loses some nutrients but is far better than none at all.
- Leaner meats like turkey or chicken are usually cheaper than fattier meats like beef.
- Buying less meat and dairy and more produce is cheaper and healthier.
- Rice and beans is one of the cheapest dishes around and it’s nutritious. It’s shelf-stable, can be prepared dozens of ways, and it’s easy to add vegetables to the mix. Tip: the darker the bean, the better.
Some ideas for keeping kids moving from home for free:
- Climb a tree
- Dance in the living room
- Clean the house as a family
- Make washing the car a game
- Start a game of tag or hide-and-go seek
- Do some yoga, deep stretching, or balancing exercises
- Walk around the neighborhood or to a neighborhood park
- Build a maze or fort with pillows, chairs, boxes, etc.
- Hold a “field day” competition in the yard. Click here for at-home ideas.
Feature Image: Forever Ready Productions