Keep Children Active at Home
I’m bored, there’s nothing to do, I’m bored, there’s nothing to do, I’m so so so bored! How often have parents and caretakers have heard this over the last 2 weeks? I’m sure it’s enough to make even the most calm person scream at the top of their lungs and pull out their hair. Keeping children active is one of the most important things caretakers can do during this time of staying at home. Children tend to eat more when they are at home in an unstructured environment for a few different reasons. The first reason is the accessibility to food is right at their fingertips and in plain sight. Often times, even when we are not hungry, the sight or smell of foods make certain hormones in our body react and cause the sensation of hunger. Another reason is certain activities at home are typically associated with eating food. For example, watching movies or binge watching television shows seems to fit right in with a nice bowl of chips, a few cookies, and some ice cream to top it off. Allowing young children to eat just a few extra snacks per day can lead to unhealthy behavior when choosing foods and unnecessary weight gain. Increasing physical activity in children can help combat unnecessary weight gain, build self-esteem, and keep them socially engaged with other members of the family. Being physically active is a learned behavior so be good role models and participate in games that increase activity with your children. Make being active fun. Find games and activities that your child will enjoy and they will likely continue. Small bouts or long bike rides with the family, it doesn’t matter, any activity is proven to be beneficial; just keep moving. “Let’s race!” Challenge children to run, jump, kick, flip, anything, to significantly increase their breathing and the heart rate. They need vigorous play-time daily. Choose this time of togetherness to make better health choices for you and your family. Get up and get moving; your children are waiting for you!