Highfields' Own - - CHILDREN’S COLLECTIVE -

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

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