Healthy kids plan during holidays
Children now have a lot of time to eat, play, indulge and cause trouble. After all they are on holiday. But how do you help them have healthy physical, psychological and emotional growth?
Children are on a two-months break. It means a lot of relaxing and feasting. It is also that time that finds many parents racking up their brains, trying to explore all possible options of how to keep their children busy during the break and more importantly, how they can stay healthy.
Here are some of the ways you can engage your children for an active healthy lifestyle, while still enjoying the holidays.
According to Quincy Mwega, a gym and nutrition specialist, a lot of people he has interacted with say it is hard for them to eat healthy because they want to indulge in their favourite foods—same case applies to children. It is time to be spoilt.
“People should give children food in moderation. It’s all about checking what they eat and in sizable portions,” he says.
During holidays, children do not have to follow routines, which they are used to at school. They eat because food is available and not because they are hungry. “They eat while watching TV or playing video games, which is well described as feeding for emotional comfort. Keep them busy by delegating household chores and fun activities,” he notes.
Mwega says when children are idle, they tend to eat more. “Prepare healthy snacks throughout the day. If they tend to get hungry between meals, bring along a high-fibre snack. Fibre keeps you feeling full longer. If you tend to use vegetable oil, swap and use coconut or olive oil,” he advises.
Children should participate in activities that help them improve cognitive thinking, sensory and motor skills, build on their talents and sharpen their intellect. A healthy mind and a healthy body play a great role in shaping the character and future of the child. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), children from at least five years require about two hours of physical activity each day for development.
Put on your dancing shoes
Children love music, so why not involve them in an hour of dance to their favourite tunes? “While they dance, you will be surprised how well they know the lyrics to the songs. This not only keeps them interested, but also physically active. You will be surprised how one hour can turn to three hours of happy workout dance,” says Edwin Ouma, a gym instructor.
Walk or run for charity
During holidays, various organisations hold charity events, such as walks. Ouma says it is a perfect way to team up and give back to the society while exercising. “When children know it is for a good course, they tend to enjoy it more, especially when the end is rewarding,” he says. The trick here is to sugarcoat fun activities in order to keep them active.
These may include board games such as puzzles, snakes and ladders and scrabble. They aid in developing the brain muscles and enhancing critical thinking abilities. The children learn how to concentrate, assess the situation, strategise and plan on their next move. The games challenge their minds and force them to engage in foresight and weigh the consequences of a certain action— skills that are applicable in real life situations
Make household chores fun
Chores usually feel like punishment to children. But if you make them work for it, then it gets fun and all they want to do is participate. Jacklyn Cheptoo, a mother of two says she makes it look like a game. “I have sons and so it used to be hard making them work. But since they are competitive, I make both do chores and whoever does the best earns a reward,” Cheptoo says this has helped them be responsible and active.