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

HOMEWORK: Play Every Day

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HOMEWORK: Play Every Day

There is no doubt that what we eat affects our weight, but what about physical activity? Here are tips for kids fitness.

Children and adults need to be physically active for 60 minutes every day to achieve a healthy weight and for psychological well-being. This is true whether your child is at a healthy weight for their age or not. If your child is overweight, getting active can help him/her grow into their weight. Your child’s rate of weight gain will slow down, while still allowing normal growth and development. Also, research shows that children who are encouraged to play every day are more likely to become active adults.

How can a child get sixty minutes of physical activity a day?

  • Limit inactivity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting television watching, idle video games and computer time to 1 or 2 hours per day.
  • Develop an activity plan. Come up with a list of fun activities your child can do by themselves and with family and friends. If you need ideas or a guideline, visit Ideas for an Active Lifestyle for fun ways to get and keep your family fit.
  • Break up exercise throughout the day. Your child does not need to get the recommended amount of physical activity at one time. A typical day could consist of a 15-minute walk to school, 20 minutes of activity in physical education class, and 25 minutes of soccer after school. It all adds up!

How can you get your child’s activity plan into action?

Be a role model. Ride your bike, play basketball, take a walk or a jog- do whatever activity you enjoy! Your physical activity has an influence on your children. By being supportive of your child’s physical activity interests, you will encourage them to be active for life and they will be at a more healthy weight because of it!

Visit Parent Role Modeling to discover more ways to have a positive effect on the health of your child.

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About the Author

Picture of Christina Burkard, MS, RD, LDN

Christina Burkard, MS, RD, LDN

Christina is registered and licensed dietitian in the Greater Chicago area. She specializes in weight management, and has completed the Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management and Level Two Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management.

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