Saturday, 21 May 2022

Keeping children active and healthy

I AM spending a great deal of time talking to schools, through media channels and social

I AM spending a great deal of time talking to schools, through media channels and social media spreading the good word on keeping our children active, healthy and well. We know our children should be eating healthily, moving and exercising but are we giving them a good balance of vitamins and minerals essential for their growth and energy?

As a general rule for good wellbeing the Eatwell Plate model — images of which can be found online — is a great guide to what we should be consuming each day based on home cooking.

Balancing macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) is a sure way to ensure children (and adults) are receiving a good amount of nutrients. Keeping our macronutrients balanced for general wellbeing is key to keeping children’s energy levels balanced.

Having good quality foods enriched with good vitamins and minerals will allow our bodies to function properly, getting calcium into our children’s bodies is essential for growth. Some research suggests that calcium along with Vitamin D may have health benefits beyond bone health, such as protecting against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Eat a rainbow. You have probably heard people talk about this, but it is a great way to look at eating vegetables. Choosing lots of different colours to get the maximum benefit out of vitamins and minerals.

Cut out the sugar — keep sugars/fats/salts to a minimum. There are healthy fats out there. Yes there are! Consuming avocado, oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, seeds/nuts all give us good healthy fats. Avoiding sweets, crisps, heavy saturated fats is much healthier for us all. Cut it out now.

How much exercise should children be doing?

Birth: physical activity should be encouraged from birth. Tummy time, reaching for toys, pulling/pushing, floor time, swimming, water playing, interacting with parents and other children.

Under-fives: keep moving, engaging their brain and focused and minimising the actual sedentary time is much better for them. Children that can walk should be active for at least three hours per day.

Children aged five to 18: should continue with 60 minutes a day (or more) and mixing up their movement time to include strength activity (jumping/running/body weight resistance/core work). Doing these activities will continue to develop strong muscles which in return will give stronger bones.

Have a great month. If you would like me to visit your school then please contact me using the details below. Together we can get our children fit, well and focused.

Emma-Jane Taylor

(01491) 877205

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