Did you know that two-thirds of children are not active enough to sustain optimum growth and development? Many of them also suffer from obesity. Apart from a lack of physical activity, poor eating habits are also at the root of this problem, with many children eating too much pre-packaged food that often has a high fat, salt, and calorie content.

Families play a vital role in encouraging a healthy lifestyle. That is why it is so important to encourage your children to participate in different kinds of physical activity. Restrict the amount of time spent watching television, playing video games, and surfing the Web and encourage them to participate in activities around the home, such as raking leaves or shovelling snow.

Be sure to give them healthy snacks as well. Avoid foods with a high fat and low nutrient content, such as chips and donuts, and suggest fruit and raw vegetables instead. Not everything can be handed to children on a silver platter, but healthy, fresh snacks look great on silver!

If children are overweight their family doctor should be consulted, but be sure to encourage them to become more physically active rather than impose a strict diet. That could result in an unhealthy cycle of weight gain and loss, accompanied by poor self-image. Physical activity and a healthy diet will help children maintain a healthy weight. It will also help them grow strong bones and muscles, resulting in good posture and better balance.

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