Toddler Activity, 5 Tips for Staying Active With Your Kids and Family, Smart Parenting, Breastfeeding, and Arguing
Written by Amy Leadbetter
TODDLERS ARE TOO INACTIVE AND REQUIRE MORE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
According to a survey of childcare facilities, children aren’t getting enough physical activity in daycare and preschool. They say parents’ concerns about safety and requested emphasis on academics has reduced traditional playtime. Parents seem to value more traditional, classroom-based activities. Although the teachers agreed that moving around is important and studies show that physical activity is essential for kids in this age group for preventing obesity and for development, safety concerns were a big barrier to kids’ time spent running around and climbing. Some of the teachers said that parents have asked for their kids to sit out of any vigorous activity to avoid getting hurt on the playground. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education recommend that preschoolers should be allowed an hour and a half to two hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
5 Tips for Staying Active With Your Kids and Family
Plan Outdoor Activities
Swimming in the summer, sledding or hiking in the winter, or biking in the spring and fall.
Take Classes Together
Yoga or aerobic classes, or if your children are too young to participate, include them in your workouts: i.e. Pushing them around in their stroller during jogs.
Redo Your Family Room
Encourage fitness by replacing some of the laziness in your family room (comfy couch, a shelf stacked with DVDs, video game console) with subtle fitness equipment such as a yoga mat or Wii Fitness games.
Make Chores Fun
Instead of assigning individual chores, turn chores into a game you can do together. Play music while cleaning or take the dog for walks together.
Make Over Your Meal Plan
Take your kids to the farmers market and let them pick their own fruits and vegetables. This is not necessarily a fitness tip but it is proven that families that eat healthier also tend to have other healthy habits such as regular physical activity.
SMART THINKING EQUALS SMART PARENTING
A recent study published in The Washington Times shows that habitual thinking may hinder a parent’s ability to solve problems, live more creatively, be productive and most importantly, it may lead to poor parenting. While on one hand, habit informs our ability to fold laundry, pack lunches and execute morning routines, habits allow us to do things thoughtlessly and when it comes to parenting. We need to be mindful and think things through. As in all areas in life, the key to changing our parenting habits is simply to step back, assess our routines and take the time to think about what we’re doing.
BREAST MILK VS. SUGARY DRINKS
It is becoming more common for mothers not to breastfeed for very long and to begin giving their children sugary drinks, like juice, at a younger age. New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that breastfeeding can lower a child’s risk of becoming obese or overweight. Babies who were breastfed for at least the first year of their life and drank few or no sugary beverages were half as likely to be obese as kids who weren’t breastfed and/or consumed soda, Gatorade or juice drinks. Although breastfeeding cannot ensure that children do not become overweight later in life, these new findings show the benefits of breastfeeding last beyond the time when the feeding stops and prevent them from being so heavy at ages two to four.
ARGUING WITH YOUR CHILDREN PREPS THEM
Arguing with your children on topics that you disagree on could do them good in the long run. Researchers found adolescents who can hold their own in a dispute with mom, rather than quickly caving, are less likely to be pressured by friends into drinking and doing drugs, according to a new report in the Child Development Journal. While it can be challenging to calmly discuss sensitive subjects, ultimately it will provide teens with the tools they need to bat away peer pressure they are bound to be faced with. Another big factor in fending off pressure was having a supportive mom. The study showed that those who seemed best protected were the ones who were able to argue well about touchy topics such as grades, household rules, friends and money.