Open Accessibility Menu

Help Your Kids Maintain a Healthy Weight

Help Your Kids Maintain a Healthy Weight

Kid's Health

As kids grow, they need certain nutrients and physical activity to stay healthy. The right fuel and energy will help them to grow, learn, and develop. When getting healthy, it’s all about small, consistent habits. Consider these tips to give your kids a strong foundation for a healthy life.

10 Foods to Add to Your Child’s Diet

These 10 foods are not only healthy for your kids, but they are easy to prepare—and versatile.

  1. Fruits, especially apples, berries, and citrus fruits loaded with vitamins A and C
  2. Vegetables—fresh, frozen, or canned—like broccoli, leafy green salads, and peas
  3. Whole grains like cereal, quinoa, or brown rice
  4. Low-fat or non-fat milk
  5. Dairy products, like yogurt and eggs
  6. Lean meats—skinless chicken or turkey, seafood, and tofu
  7. Healthy fats, like avocado and certain oils
  8. Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, and cashews
  9. Beans, including black beans, chickpeas, lentils, or kidney beans
  10. Water – limit sugary drinks altogether

These foods can be served in many ways. Think about a cup of mixed raw veggies to snack on, including carrots, bell peppers, and celery, with a side of hummus. Or use MyPlate as a guide and have the kids help pack their own school lunches complete with fruits and veggies, whole grains, and protein. Offer a variety, get your kids involved in cooking, and be a healthy-eating role model—these are keys to getting your kids to eat well and try more foods.

Staying Active

Growing bodies need to move, too. Regular physical activity, 1 hour or more daily, strengthens your child’s bones, decreases their blood pressure and stress and anxiety, increases their self-esteem, and helps to maintain a healthy weight.

Reduce the time your child spends sitting or looking at a screen and choose physical activity instead. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask the kids to help with household chores like raking leaves, watering plants, or cleaning the garage.
  • Make screen time active time. Play interactive video games or find dance videos online.
  • Walk, bike, or take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Sign your kids up for youth league sports this summer or before school begins in the fall.
  • Give them active toys to play with, like balls, jump ropes, or a mini trampoline.

Don’t forget that rest is just as important as physical activity. Too little sleep is associated with obesity and other health problems. Remember that kids need more sleep than adults. Find out how much sleep your child needs, plus tips for getting your child’s sleep schedule back on track.

Health and Wellness Resources for Kids

Frederick Health is here for you and your family. If your child struggles with certain dietary needs or needs help with weight management, our Nutrition & Weight Management team can help. We also work with food and dietary allergy issues as well as sport’s needs.

For kids struggling with diabetes or pre-diabetes, there’s the Frederick Health Diabetes & Nutrition Center. Our staff will evaluate, educate, and support your child on how to control their diabetes better. You can also check out articles on our blog about meal planning and weight management for diabetes, too.

Our partner, LiveWell Frederick, offers a wonderful 5-2-1-0 program that can help your family grow stronger, smarter, and healthier together. It includes key principles like eating fruits and vegetables, reducing screen time, getting 1 hour or more of physical activity daily, and drinking more water. There’s also a Resources page devoted just to kids.

Frederick Health Rewards is another great program that can help your child take an active role in their health and well-being. When you sign up, you can immediately access discounts and specials at local businesses or featured vendors.

For example, score healthy foods for school lunches at Common Market Co+Op. Take the kids to classes at the YMCA of Frederick County. Plan a family bowling night at Terrace Lanes. Purchase bikes for the family at Pedego Frederick. All of these businesses offer discounts for Frederick Health Rewards members, which can be found on our website.

Most importantly, the best resource for your child is their pediatrician or primary care provider. During your child’s yearly check-up, talk about preventive care and healthy habits mentioned in this article, and make sure your kids are up to date on all screenings and vaccinations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.