KEEPING KIDS HEALTHY
With school back in full swing, children are busy keeping their minds active. But due to the long periods of sitting at desks, they’re also likely to have reduced levels of exercise which can impact on their overall wellbeing.
To help keep your kids healthy, the Heart Foundation is encouraging parents to look for opportunities to increase their kids’ activity as part of the school week.
Healthy living manager for Heart Foundation Queensland Sheree Hughes said Australian children were among the most chauffeured in the world.
“These days around 70 per cent of children are regularly driven to and from school, compared with 16% in 1970,” she said.
“Our lives are busy and we are driving because we feel it will save time.
“But small opportunities to walk or ride more often will help children to realise there are ways to travel other than in a car — walking or riding together is a great experience for parents and children to share.”
What to put in the kids’ lunchboxes is another dilemma that plagues parents, as they face more than 200 school lunches throughout the year.
The Heart Foundation has some tips for keeping your child’s lunchbox nutritious and getting young people outside and active.
Top ideas for keeping school children active and healthy
■ Pick a day you can walk to and from school together — even consider parking the car a little further from the school and walking for 10 minutes ■ Cut up food so it is easy for little fingers to eat ■ Select comfortable school shoes that are great for walking, running and riding bicycles
■ Include a frozen water bottle — it will help keep lunch cool and provides an icy-cold drink ■ Plan a quick play at the local park on free afternoons. ■ Plan ahead to avoid grabbing pre-packaged foods ■ Join your children in an after-school swim, ball game, hopscotch or skip