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Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

Promoting Healthy Growth and Development by Playing!

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Promoting Healthy Growth and Development by Playing!

Being active promotes healthy growth and development in children, and can be a great way to get the family together for quality time.

There are many more ways to be active than people realize. Here are some activities that families can enjoy doing together.

Activity Ideas

  • Take the dog for a walk together. Depending on your child’s age, they can be a neighborhood dog walker and make money while being active.
  • Shoot basketball hoops, play badminton, toss around a football.
  • Make sure you focus on having fun, not competing.
  • Go to a park and play on the equipment.
  • Turn your backyard into a playground with sandboxes, swings, forts, and rock climbing walls.
  • Turn up the volume! Play your favorite tunes and dance around the living room.
  • Biking – grab your helmets and head for a bike trail.
  • Swimming to cool off in the summer heat.
  • Tap into your inner child and play the games you used to play as a kid – Red Rover, Red Light/Green Light, Tag and Hide and Seek are fun games that get the whole family moving and laughing.

How does physical activity help kids throughout their days?

Studies show that exercising daily has a positive effect on kids’ learning ability, memory, problem-solving, and decision making, not to mention creativity and improved behavior. In fact, it is recommended by the American Heart Association that all children age 2 and older should get involved in at least 1/2 hour of enjoyable, moderate-intensity activities each day, for example: walking, swimming and riding bikes. They should also get at least 1/2 hour of vigorous physical activity 3-4 days per week “to achieve and maintain a good level of cardiovascular fitness.”

The choices that are made as a family regarding physical activity and healthy eating will help to lead your child to a lifetime of healthy living.


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About the Author

Picture of Kristine L Bach, MS, RD, CDN

Kristine L Bach, MS, RD, CDN

Kristine L. Bach, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master of Science Degree in Biology with the emphasis on Human Nutrition. She is a freelance writer, has appeared in “Woman’s Fitness Magazine”, and has a Nutrition Counseling Practice in Long Island.

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