As a parent, you want your child to be as healthy and happy as possible - and there's plenty you can do to help them.
By keeping your child active and teaching them about healthy eating it can have a lifelong impact.
Take advantage of the weather getting warmer and the evenings lighter by going for brisk walks or taking the family out for a day of fun activities in the open air.
Why is it important to do physical activity?
Physical activity is good for your child's mind, body and soul. Allowing them to live a sedentary lifestyle could have long-term implications for their health. Being active has loads of benefits:
- Helping your child build a healthy heart and develop strong muscles and bones.
- Helping reduce the risk of some chronic diseases in later life.
- Reducing body fat and helping them feel good about themselves.
- Improving their social and moral development and reducing anxiety and stress.
- Increasing their opportunities to mix with other children and make friends.
How much time should my child spend doing physical activity?
Children and young people should aim to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day. We recommend:
- active play, and
- most sports.
Kids can build up their muscular strength, flexibility and bone health through climbing, skipping, jumping or gymnastics at least twice a week, too.
You don't need to do the full hour of exercise all at once - split it over the course of the day if you need to. They could do four blocks of 15 minutes, or three blocks of 20 minutes - it doesn't matter how they do it as long as they get their full hour in.
You can incorporate this physical activity into their daily life easily - you can walk with them to and from school, encourage them to participate in PE lessons, enjoy active play with friends at break times, and arrange for them to play sport or take part in structured exercise outside school.
Should I worry about what my child is eating?
By encouraging your child to eat a healthy, balanced diet, you're teaching them good habits for life. Eating too much salt, saturated fat and having an unhealthy eating habit can lead to coronary heart disease. Eating healthily improves their physical health, wellbeing and their concentration at school.
Instead of sweet, sugary and fatty snacks, offer them alternatives such as fruit and veg, rice crackers, dried fruit and yoghurts