Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
149 148 149 148 step 4: boost protein sleep apnoea, and cardiovascular disease. • strengthens immune system. • improves mood by boosting serotonin levels. • is a good outlet for anger. • increases self–esteem and sense of belonging. • increases focus and attention span. • helps kids develop balance, strength, hand-eye coordination and ball skills. • helps children learn social skills, such as winning, losing and how to be a team player. • helps with neuralplasticity (the brains ability to form new neural pathways). How much exercise should my child have? Most children need at least an hour of physical activity every day, but this doesn’t have to happen in 60 consecutive minutes. You can break it up into two 30-minute sessions or even three 20-minute sessions. Hydrate and recover As with adults, the harder and longer a child exercises or plays, the more he needs to hydrate. Make sure to replace whatever water they sweat out after each play or sports session. Always offer frequent drinks before, during and after exercise. Choose water or diluted fresh fruit juice – children do not need sports drinks. Recovery eating is equally essential after a child has been involved in an activity such as soccer, basketball, swimming or ballet. Offer a snack with the ratio of 4:1 carbohydrate to protein so that their muscles can repair and break down the lactic acid. Post-sport snacks • Beetroot Bliss Balls (see recipe on page 115) • Lunch Box Friendly Muesli Bars (see recipe on page 193) • Peanut butter sandwich on wholegrain sourdough bread • Veggie sticks with Basic Hummus (see recipe on page 282) • Trail mix or Quick Homemade Granola (see recipe on page 275) • Smoothies (see recipes on page 225) • Malted Chocolate Drink (see recipe on page 275) • Yoghurt with berries (see our Berry & Granola Parfait on page 249) • Chicken or tuna sandwich on wholegrain bread DO... DON’T... plan more family fun activities. leave too many chores for times when you are with your child. plan three to four afternoon play opportunities per week. Children are naturally active in playgrounds or indoors with friends as long as electronics are not involved. make outings revolve around eating alone. Even picnics can be more fun with a game of soccer or a running race before lunch. walk to and from school with younger children. It will benefit your health too. leave the television on for extended periods or use it as the babysitter. sign your child up for organised team sports. Many fun activities exist from toddler age on. force your child to participate in activities that they do not enjoy – this may turn him off exercise for good. Rather find activities he enjoys. make weekend plans that include hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming and walking. make exercise a chore or relate it to weight loss. Children need to think they are doing exercise for fun, not to keep their weight down. Instead talk to children about how exercise helps them get strong or run fast. ensure that if you are stuck indoors due to rainy weather that you include physical activities such as hide and seek, obstacle course races and treasure hunts. don’t whinge in front of your kid about how difficult is it to get off the couch and exercise. Speak about exercising in a positive light, even if you have to pretend. Exercise Do’s and Don’ts Did you know? If the only protein in the lunch box is in a sandwich while every other option is a carbohydrate, your child may feel hungry again soon after eating. Add protein-rich snacks like trail mix or roasted chickpeas for a better balance. 3. USE A GROCERY LIST Buying only what you need will always save you money, so never hit the shops without a shopping list. Plan all of your meals for the week, list your ingredients and only buy those products. Alternatively, shop online and avoid the temptation of even entering the store! 4. SHOP IN BULK Ask your friends and you’ll likely discover that they too are wanting to go organic, but fear the costs involved. The good news is that by buying in bulk you can save, and you’ll also be cutting down on landfill-bound packaging. If you don’t have a friend who can share your shopping items, shop at your local bulk food stores as this can also lead to considerable savings. 5. LOOK OUT FOR DISCOUNTS Organic meat is often discounted 1-2 days before the use-by date – if this is purchased from a reputable source, it’s perfect to eat and can be frozen and used later as long as it is placed in the freezer before the use-by date. 6. SAVE ON FRESH PRODUCE Budget-conscious family shoppers should look for discounted produce in health food stores, which may have gotten a few bruises to the skins or need to be eaten within 1-2 days. Overripe, discounted mangoes and bananas are excellent choices as they can be frozen and used in smoothies. Likewise, use bruised vegetables in soups, sauces or casseroles where even the fussiest of tiny-tastebuds won’t know they were in the discount tub at the store 7. CHOOSE CHEMICAL-FREE Chemical-free fruit and vegetables from a reputable source can be another great wallet-friendly choice, and the quality of products are often just as good as organic. This is because getting a license to certify produce as organic is often too pricey for small, independent growers who are using chemical-free means to farm their produce. Goal 4: increase exercise Protein builds healthy muscles, but to be healthy, children also need physical exercise. Aside from junk food, one of the most damaging things to our children’s health is inactivity. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2012 toddlers and preschoolers (aged 2-4 years) were spending almost one and a half hours each day watching TV, DVDs or playing computer games. Growing up, my brother, who suffered from obesity, detested physical activity. These days he is in great shape and he blames his childhood weight problem on his lack of exercise, as well as poor food choices. I often see young children who are overweight and when I look at their diet, I do not find obvious reasons why. The same food diary could come from a healthy-weight child. Often the differential is lifestyle and inactivity. In inactive children, modest excess food intake can cause disproportionate weight gain. Dr Roy Sugarman, a Sydney-based clinical neuropsychologist, points out that in Australia, 10-year-olds spend about 34 hours of their free time per week, outside of school, engaged in sedentary activities. By age 12, this figure increases to 41 hours and rises again for 14-year- olds to 45 hours (or 6.5 hours per day). This would mean 10,000 hours of sitting for a teenager living today in the years before they turn 21. During continuous sitting, especially in the triple-flexed position we adopt in front of a screen, regulation of lipase (the breakdown of fats) switches off, insulin resistance increases, electrical activity switches off, inflammatory cytokines increase, growth hormones decrease, all of which sets up our children for brain and body ill-health. Children love anything fun, so engage them in activity-based games and everyday routines to keep their exercise levels high. Work with what interests them and areas they display strength in. Swimming and gymnastics are fantastic for building up core muscle strength. Or, if you can, put a trampoline or a basketball hoop in your outdoor area. And don’t forget more simple fun like balloon bashing to motivate a child away from an electronic device. Exercise: • builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints. • helps kids sleep better at night. • controls weight gain. • increases lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism. • decreases risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Consider this... How do you as a family enjoy your spare time? Watching TV, going to see movies or hiking, biking and kayaking? Just as with good nutrition habits, children learn about being active by example.