With National Nutrition Week fast approaching, we thought we would get behind it and raise awareness about the role of diet on our overall health. This year, the theme is “Try for 5” encouraging all Australians to increase their vegetable consumption to the recommended five serves per day.
With childhood obesity rates now sitting at around 25% (Nutrition Australia, 2017) and with the number of Australia’s diagnosed with diabetes on the rise, we need to address our nation’s health and lifestyle choices now. It should come as no surprise that active and growing children require good nutrition to build healthy bodies and fuel their activities. Attitudes towards food and healthy eating habits are formed during the earlier years. As parents, we can help our children build healthy foundations by encouraging good eating habits and implementing regular physical activity.
Children are very energetic and playful and their day is usually packed with lots of activities. From primary school, all the way through to high school, children require nutritious foods to help them concentrate at school and to fuel their day to day activities.
Developing healthy eating habits
A diet that includes a range of foods from the five food groups will provide children with the nutrients and energy they need to grow and develop. Try to include plenty of vegetables and legumes, fruits, grains, meat and dairy with the occasional treat foods. Too much sugary foods not only increases your child’s chances of becoming overweight, it also increases the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and tooth decay.
Children also need to stay hydrated and should be encouraged to drink water. Despite their endless love for soft drinks and juices, try to limit these for special occasions and refrain from keeping them in the house. Instead opt for as much water as they can consume.
Try and get your whole family behind National Nutrition Week by aiming for five serves of vegetables per day. Vegetables also make a great snack option that both you and the kids will love. Try cutting up some carrot, celery and cucumber and dipping it into hummus (it’s delicious).
Don’t forget to move!
A healthy diet is important, but so too is physical activity. Encouraging an active lifestyle accompanied with a balanced and “real food” diet is the best way to support your child. So be active with your little ones and try to include a form of physical activity in family outings, or better yet, enrol them in swimming lessons. Click here to view Australia’s Physical Activity Guidelines.
Need help developing your child’s water confidence and swimming ability? We can help! Contact us today.
See you next month,
Weronika and the team at Aquatica Swim Academy.