Summer Tips for Healthy Kids

Summer vacations are usually the time when parents realize that their children’s teachers are grossly underpaid. Come summer it’s fun time for the kids and juggling time for the parents. It is no easy feat to manage bored kids with lots of free time, their food, health, play time, household chores, office work and the truck load of guests that usually drop by. Hats off to the brave parents who survive through the turbulent times. While summers get messy, it’s still top priority to make sure that kids stay healthy through the summer vacations given the simple fact that kids tend to put on more weight during summer if not kept in check.

Given your busy schedules, we have come up with simple tips for a healthy summer for kids

  1. Pick a sport: Make it a point that you child is enrolled to either better a sport they love or learn a new one over the summer season. It will give them sufficient exercise to stay healthy over the summer. Sports help with faster reflexes, physical fitness and boosts the feel good hormone oxytocin in their little bodies. Additionally it will tire them enough to sleep early at night leaving you with one less thing to bother about.
  2. Pick a new hobby: Learning a new hobby keeps kids brains active. It creates new neural pathways and helps kids become fast learners and skilled at new things. It will become easier for them to get into their studies once they resume school. Our healthy tips for kids include mental health too.
  3. Become the fit foodie: Kids will want to munch on food all day long, so might as well have them munch on healthy food and fresh fruit juices. If you are going to spend such a lot of time cooking in the kitchen, might as well cook the healthy stuff. Look up healthy recipes online and experiment away. No better tips for healthy kids than going the foodie way!
  4. Water up: Chaas, nimbu paani, aam panna, jaljeera, fresh fruit juice, coconut water no matter what the form punch line is keeping them hydrated. Make it fun with tall glasses healthy colorful mock tails summer umbrellas and straws if it helps. Dehydration can cause a lot of problems to their tiny bodies. Plus it’s the best way to beat the summer heat.
  5. Lighten up: Make sure kids wear light cotton clothes during the summers. Materials like nylon do not absorb the sweat and get heated up faster adding to the summer heat. Light colored cotton clothes help keep kids cool and absorb and dry the sweat faster too. Sweat causes skin problems like irritation and itching. Even infections on some occasions.

The only way to keep kids fit during the summers is to make it fun. Fun for the kids that is. While it may not be so much fun for you, the benefits on your child’s health make it worth your while.

7 Ways to Encourage Kids to Be Active

Did you know that 70 percent of overweight kids, become overweight adults as well? It’s important that kids, at their early age, develop healthy habits they can carry into adulthood. The best way to do this is to encourage kids to be active. But that’s easier said than done, especially if kids have become couch potatoes or digital zombies thanks to all those gadgets. Here are 7 ways to encourage kids to be active.

Introduce Development-Related Activities

You may not know it, but kids crave for structure in their lives. When they’re bored, besides playing, they either eat, use gadgets or do weird stuff. While their weird stuff can be hilarious at times (not to mention cute), add a little more order in their lives by giving them development-related activities. For example, don’t expect an eight-year old to run a marathon with you or do weight training. Swimming, biking, basketball and football are fun activities. There are camps which also offer development-related fitness activities.

Get Them ‘Active Toys’

Obviously, kids love toys. But don’t give them just any other toys. Give them active ones. For instance, a soccer ball may not technically be a toy, but for a child it can lead to hours of fun and fitness. A beach ball can encourage kids to be active even before their feet get wet. A Frisbee or a kite will encourage them to go outside and play.

Get Them Fitness Gear

Like toys, fitness wear can encourage children to be more active. Shoes, for example, is an outright invitation for them to go outside and be active. Either than fit though, shoes need to protect your kids’ feet. Choose shoes which are comfy, has good support and cushioning. Diadora kids’ shoes are a good place to start. Lotto is another brand which offer good kids shoes. The shoes are readily available via online shops. Look for sports accessories they may like too.

Turn the Electronics Off

On average, children spend around seven hours using television, smartphones and other gadgets, daily. Yes, it’s like they have a job with that much hours spent on these things. Imagine how productive they would be if even half of that is used on fitness? But before you go dictator, bear in mind that there is a more subtle way to get kids to stop using electronics. Do it gradually. Don’t let them go ‘cold turkey’ so to speak. Limit the time of use slowly and insert fitness activities in its place. You want them to let go of the digital habit by themselves, not by force.

Make Meals Magical

Children can be picky eaters. That’s why it’s so hard for most parents to persuade kids to eat healthy. One trick is to make the foods look good. Design your kids’ meals to make them look good. Make it look like a bear. A lion or even a cartoon character (if you’re really good at it). Another way is to add what your kids like with healthy foods. For instance, every kid likes cheese, so steamed veggies with some cheese can encourage them to eat their vegetables. As they get the taste of vegetables, slowly remove the cheese or use healthier options.

Be Their Role Model

Kids model their behavior through people who are close to them. No pressure, but as a parent, that’s you. If you want your kids to eat healthy and be fit, you have to show them you’re willing to do the same. Practice what you preach by being a role model.

Do Not Overdo It

As much as you want your kids to be fit and active, do not overdo it. Remember that the goals is for kids to develop a healthy habit, which means they actually have to like the idea of being fit. And that won’t happen if they feel like its kiddie boot camp. So just take it easy and let them enjoy the ride… and enjoy it too.

5 First Aid Tips to Teach Kids

Kids tend to get injured very often and are usually very scared when they do. Teaching kids about basic first aids helps them calmly deal with the situation and stay safe. Here are some of the most basic first aids tips that you can begin teaching your child.

1. Calling for help: It is most important to teach kids how to call for help. This is the first line of defense. Teach them how and when to use emergency dialing. Get them to describe exactly what has happened and how to clearly communicate it to the person over the phone. Your child should know his/ her full name and the home address to help things move faster.

2. Cuts and small wounds: Teach your kids what minor cuts and wounds look like. Use instances when your kids actually end up with injuries and teach them how to tend to it. Say your child ends up with a scratched knee, explain to them exactly what you are doing and why. Tell them that first they should use water and an antiseptic liquid to clean properly. Once cleaned check for any soil or other debris. Once clear teach them to apply antibiotic cream like Neosporin and then dress the wound with bandage. Teach them that applying pressure on the wounds will usually stop bleeding.

3. Burns: In case their clothes have caught fire, teach them to immediately cover their face with their hands and then stop drop and roll immediately on the ground till the fire stops or immediately run it under water. For other kinds of burns teach them to run the burn under water for some relief. The rest of the attending to the burns should be done by an adult. They can use a medicated cream like burnol on the wounds till an adult can attend to it. Teach them to wash hands properly with antiseptic soap before and after attending to any kind of wound, open skin and bleeding.

4. Broken bones: Kids need to be taught that bones are alive and have their own blood supply. Explain to them that a broken bone is the same thing as a fracture and that it hurts a lot. In case of a fracture, the fractured body part is not to be touched and an adult is to be called immediately. Till then they can ensure that the injured part is kept still and the person comfortable. Do not let the patient eat or drink anything since a serious injury might need an operation and a filled stomach warrants delay.

5. Insect bite: Children and insect bites are a common thing but they can be a pain. Teach kids to remove the stingers by scraping it without breaking it. Their nails or a credit card can be used to scrape the sting out. Using tweezers can squeeze out more venom so avoid it.

Children are very intelligent and when taught properly can learn basic first aid properly. This not only lets you breathe a sigh of relief but also lets your child feel confident when in such a situation because they know what is happening and how to deal with it.

Be Careful on Kids Health When Buying Toys For Them

Parents often buy kids toys such as bus model, stuffed animals, RC cars and so on for their children as best gifts because they always think that toys are children best and closest partners. That’s right. However, as parents, do you know that there are some dangerous factors hidden in kids toys, if not pay more attention on this issue, poor quality kids toys will lead to unintentional injury and threaten children’s health.

Stuffed animals
Soft stuffed animals such as stuffed dogs, stuffed bears and so on are almost all girls’ preferred toys, however, do you know that playing with stuffed animals for long time is easy to suffer from asthma. According to doctor for children hospital, more and more children suffer from respiratory diseases because of playing stuffed animals for a long time. Plush toy is unexpected allergens so that children with allergic condition can easily lead to allergic diseases, however, it is often neglected. Nowadays, 90 percent of stuffed animals in children hands have moderate or severe contamination of germs. Compared to plastic toys, it is difficult to clean and disinfect stuffed animals so that it is easy to infect bacteria again.

Toys with painting
Nowadays, many kids toys such as metal toys and building blocks with more colors paint are basically to be used in painting. What’s more, even colorful air balloon, books and picture albums are painted with pigment. For a long time, it is easy to result in lead poisoning. When children embrace toys when sleeping, or kiss toys, lead poisoning would be happened. By the way, the small accessories such as eyes and noses on stuffed animal and doll’s body are also poisonous.

Toys with too loud noise
With the large number of new toys appear in the toys market, there are more and more toys with sounds. As parents, it is harmful to children’s hearing function. According to research, children are more sensitive to sound than adults. When the toys’ sound is more than 120 decibel, it is easy to damage children hearing function if playing for long time. Bad symptoms such as headache, dizziness, tinnitus, emotional stress, memory loss and other would appear. Therefore infant and young children need a quiet environment during the growth phase if you want to them grow healthy. If they are stimulated by too loud noise for a long time, it is easy to lead to agitation, lack of tolerance, lack of sleep, lack of concentration and other bad symptoms, all of which are not beneficial.

3 Mistakes Parents Make With Their Kids Health and Fitness

As a youth fitness and performance coach as well as a personal trainer in Singapore, I see many kids and youth athletes each year. I also meet their parents so that we can work together to get the best possible results for the kids. Here are 3 common mistakes that parents commonly make when trying to maximize their child’s growth and future health.

Too little activity

Over the past 10 years working as a personal trainer and sports performance coach in Singapore, I have found that the most challenging clients to work with are those who did not do much physical activity in their youth. Your child’s coordination is developed before the age of 12 and if it is not done, it will never be. However I see too many children whose parents either don’t know or don’t care for physical education or activity. These children end up being poor at physical tasks, less likely to enjoy them and less likely to do well in them and carry them on to adulthood. Not encouraging physical activity in your child is a good way to make him or her a fat, obese and unhealthy adult.

Specialization Too Early

At the other extreme are parents who want their 8 year old to be the next swimming, badminton, basketball or whatever sport’s world champion. There is no relationship between excellence at 8 years old and becoming a world class athlete.

The mistake parents are making here is sport specialization too early. Before the age of 12 kids should play every possible sport. I like gymnastics because it teaches a lot of coordination. But a large variety should be encouraged. Kids who have a “wide” base of sports skills end up being the best at whichever sport they choose to specialize in future. Early specialization leads to long term mediocrity.

Poor Nutrition

Parents need to take control of their kids nutrition. There are too many advertisements telling parents to buy cereals, juices and breads for their kids to give them energy. Those food companies just want your money. These foods do NOT maximize your child’s potential.

Children need more nutritious food like fruits (not juices), fish, meat, vegetables, nuts as well as natural starches like pumpkins, yams and sweet potatoes. Children who eat these foods are less likely to have attention deficit disorder, concentrate better in class, have less mood swings and are more socially adaptable.

Get your kids in shape with these basics and see them excel in the future!

Coach Jonathan Wong, is a sought after Singapore personal trainer and performance expert who has helped hundreds of clients in Singapore from regular folk to national level athletes achieve their fitness, fat loss and sports performance goals regardless of starting age, fitness level or experience.

Three Benefits of Juicing For Your Kids Health

I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. But I do think January is a great time to set goals to make realistic, positive changes toward changes you want to make in your life.

This year, I kept it simple.

So my goal for this year is to get more raw fruits and veggies into my kids over the winter months-in a way they will actually like. And I don’t mean the kind that is crushed up and put in a tablet. I mean the kind you get from the fresh produce section in the grocery store, take home and put directly into your body. I am a firm believer that fresh fruit and vegetables that are in their natural state in which Mother Nature made them, provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals and have much more to offer, than a powdered capsule or man-made tablet, no matter what the label claims.

Sounds easy…but how do we get our kids to agree?

For my family, the answer juicing. Juicing gets a whack of wholefood nutrition into kids growing bodies and there are endless combinations so it never gets boring. Nothing compares to amount of raw nutrition you get from a glass of freshly squeezed glass of juice.

Here are the main benefits of juicing for your kids:

1. Juicing can be a fun, bonding time for you and your kids. Let your kids stand on chairs and help push the veggies through the machine. When you’re done, the juice is more of an accomplishment than a drink and they will gulp in down proudly. Note: The dreaded cleanup (which actually only takes about 10min) is well worth the work for the amount of nutrition your kids will consume.

2. If your kids aren’t big veggie eaters, juicing provides a means to get those raw nutrients into them and take away your guilt if they don’t eat their beans with dinner. Raw fruit and vegetable are MUCH more nutritious than cooked ones so mama will be happy. And isn’t it true that when mama is happy, everyone is happy!

3. There are many good juicers to choose from-we happen to have a Champion, which allows us to make ice cream after dinner. We simply put frozen berries and bananas through and out comes the most delicious and natural ice cream in the world-pure raw fruit in a bowl. The kids think it’s a treat and I love being able to say (guilt free) “Who wants ICE CREAM?!” Sometimes we even add a little ‘chocolate’ sauce. (raw cacao and agave syrup) David Wolfe, who is one of the leading authorities on raw food and juicing, has a website where he recommends several different juicers.

What are your goals for keeping your family healthy this year? I recommend juicing because it’s fun, it takes away some of your guilt as a mother, and it can provide nutrition camouflaged as treats for your kids.

Kids Health: Parenting Tips

Kids’ health is one of the major problems faced by almost all parents around the world. In most part of the western countries, obesity and over weight problem is causing serious worries to the parents and as well as to the government. Both these problems needs to be controlled at early stages of life; so that future of your kids will be safe and secure from various diseases.

Due to various types of junk foods, such as bakery products, fast food and oily stuffs, health of your child is affected. These unhealthy foodstuffs lead to lack of concentration in school and other learning aspects of social skills. So proper attention towards the health of your kid is needs to be provided by parents and healthy food with sufficient calories must be monitored along with regular exercises and daily workouts. Here are some of the guidelines that will help parents to look after their kids properly.

Carry out regular check up of your kid from family doctor and provide healthy diet to the kid as prescribed by the doctor.

Motivate kids for regular and simple exercises such as walking, daily warm up and if possible swimming.

Most of the parents do not get time to look after their kids and normally kids are on the mercy of the maidservants. This should not happen and regular attention must be provided to the kids so that they are well nourished.Due to various facilities of entertainments such as television, computers, movies and various cartoon channels, normally kids don’t get sufficient time to carry out exercises. Thus, yoga is another alternative that can help in reducing extra weight along with improving strength and body coordination.

Avoid providing junk foods, bakery products, chocolates, oily foodstuffs and unhealthy food to the kids. Balanced diet is must be provided to the kids to get rid of avoidable diseases such as obesity and overweight disorders. Healthy eating habits help kids in physical and mental development. So fix proper timing of meals and restrict untimely snacks and various foodstuffs that are of low calorie.

At least once in a day, have meals with kids and tell them the benefits of balanced healthy diet and advice them to stay away from junk food. In most of the cases, it is found that kids follow the habits of parents so it is better that parents should first change their unhealthy eating habits and carry out regular exercises along with kids. This will help kids as well as parents to look after their own health and in turn eliminate chances of obesity and overweight.

Parents Are Going Green For Kids Health!

Parents want the best for their kids. This includes a liveable planet for future generations. That is why parents are going green for kids health. There are a lot of little steps you can take to minimize your carbon footprint, and to teach your children about the environment.

The four key areas you want to check your ‘green’ to ensure the best for the environment and your families health are: -water efficiency -energy efficiency -product selection -waste management. We are lucky to live in a country rich in natural resources, including water. Ways you can save and protect our water are:

1. Water Efficiency:

  • Turn taps off tightly after use so they don’t drip. Do not leave water running while you brush your teeth, do dishes, clean, etc.
  • Use any leftover water from plastic water bottles to water your plants, put in the pet’s water dish, etc.
  • Buy bio-degradable soaps, shower gels and laundry detergent. If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, buy HE (high-efficiency) detergent since it requires less water to rinse.
  • Watch what goes down the drain. Do not put harmful chemicals (found in some household cleaners, paints, solvents, pesticides, etc.) down the drain where they can harm our water systems.
  • Do not use the drain as a garbage can to put cigarette butts, paper tissues, hair, etc. Teach your kids to follow your example.

2. Energy Efficiency helps the environment and lowers your electric bill. Here are some easy to follow tips:

  • Replace old, power guzzling appliances with energy efficient ones. Look for the Energy Star label. Check for rebates and programs from your local government.
  • Buy energy efficient light bulbs for the house. Compact fluorescent bulbs are 75% more efficient than conventional bulbs.
  • Turn lights and appliances off when not in use. Computers, TV’s, stereos, and video game units still draw power when they are turned off. A power strip makes it easy to turn off several devices at once and stops them from drawing current. Don’t leave your cell phone charging longer than it needs to.
  • Get solar lighting products -especially good for outdoor lighting since you don’t have to worry about power cords.
  • Do not automatically reach for the car keys anytime someone has to go somewhere. Look for alternatives – like walking or biking, or even carpooling.
  • Check your home for drafts and seal them up. Make sure your home has adequate insulation everywhere – the attic, basements, floors, walls, etc. Your house will be more efficient and comfortable, and you will see lower bills for heating and cooling.

3. Product Selection:

  • Not all products are created equally. Look for green materials, products made with recycled materials, and bio-degradable products.
  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones that can leak toxins into the earth. Choose green and bio cleaning products over harsh chemicals. (See our article on using products like vinegar and baking soda to clean your house).
  • Replace the chemical pesticides you use for plants, lawn and garden with non-toxic alternatives.
  • Buy bags that you can reuse time and again for groceries and shopping.
  • Use reusable containers and water bottles for lunches and on-the-go.

4. Waste Management:

  • Reuse, recycle, renew whenever possible. Get green and blue bins from your city to put the least amount of trash in landfills.
  • Organize a neighbourhood cleanup -get everyone to pitch in to clean up parks and walkways. Make an event out of it or even a fundraiser. Have prizes or accolades for ones that fill the most garbage bags.
  • Look for creative ways to reuse items instead of throwing them away. Some items could be used for storing things, for crafts, for decorations (garbage art is in!)
  • Look for the recycle codes on products. Plastics that can be reused are those labelled 2, 4 or 5. Plastics labelled 1, 3, 6, and 7 should only be used one time and then recycled.

Kids’ Health and Fitness Is Important

Parents have a lot of responsibilities to their children. They have to provide food, shelter, clothing and love. In addition, they have to teach manners, how to tie shoes and how to use the potty. While parents do have a lot on their plates, they can’t forget the importance of teaching their kids health and fitness.

It’s very important that children learn at a young age about healthy eating and exercise. If they learn to love fruits and vegetables and enjoy being active as children, it will really help them the rest of their lives.

It can be easy for parents to get caught up in other things that they don’t think about health and fitness. With work, errands, cooking, cleaning and just taking care of a child’s need, it can seem that there is no time to devote to exercise or think about what kids are eating. After all, it’s quicker to give your kids a processed snack or pick up fast food than it is to prepare a healthy snack or lunch.

Parents can use many excuses for not doing the right things. They’re too busy, too tired, or they just don’t know what to do or how to change. You can always find an excuse for not doing something. At some point, you just have to come to the realization that it’s important and you have to find a way to make it happen.

Childhood obesity is a major problem and it’s because too many parents make excuses. They don’t take responsibility for their child’s health. The easy route is to let your kids watch as much TV as they want. But the best thing for them is to make them turn of the TV and do something active. The same is often true for food.

First, parents should start educating themselves about health and fitness. Purchase more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds and stop buying a lot of processed snacks. Take 30 minutes out of your day to participate in some fun kids exercises with your children. If you do it with them, they are more likely to join in.

Teaching your kids about health and fitness is a conscious choice. It takes effort, but in the end it is well worth it. Show your kids that being healthy will help them feel better and live a long, happy life. As a parent, that is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

Remember that the reason to learn about health and fitness for kids is to give you skills and knowledge necessary to help your children become the healthiest people they can be. Download a free report with tips and instructions you need to get started quickly with fitness by visiting Kids Exercise and learn how to have fun while playing exercise games.

Choosing Healthy Snacks for Kids

While meals make up the majority of a child’s nutritional intake, most children eat at least one snack per day. While many of the most commonly offered kids’ snacks tend to be of lower nutritional value than meals, snacks still can support—or even enhance—your child’s overall healthy eating plan. Here’s how:

  • Use snack times as a way to increase fruits and vegetable intake. Most kids do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Snack times offer a great opportunity to increase access and exposure to these nutrient-dense foods. Consider pairing them up with dairy products or dairy substitutes (such as grapes and cheese) lean proteins (such as celery and peanut butter), or whole-grain cereals and bread (such as banana sandwich on whole grain bread).
  • Keep a range of healthy foods handy at home. It is much easier to make easy, healthy snacks when you keep a few key items stocked at home. Ideas include different types of raw vegetables and fruit, yogurt dip, hummus, and cheese sticks.
  • Avoid processed foods and added sugars. Processed foods (made in a factory and sold in bags and boxes) do not have many nutrients and often have a lot of added sugar and salt. In addition, children may become hungry faster after eating processed foods. See Snacks & Sugary Foods in School: AAP Policy Explained for more information.
  • Teach your children to eat a rainbow of colors. Arrange your children’s foods to show the beauty of fresh, brightly colored foods. Talk about the farms where food comes from and the farmers who help grow it.