We all want to raise happy and healthy children. Unfortunately, there are many factors working against us these days. Not to sound old-fashioned (i.e. “Back in my day….”) but childhood is so different, even from just 20 years ago. Technology, busy schedules and even fearing for our kids’ everyday safety are just some of the examples that the times have changed. Even so, we can’t let today’s challenges get in the way of helping our children lead a healthy lifestyle.
The CDC reports that the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who are obese is 20.6%. That is a scary number! Of course, the kids can’t fully be to blame. It is up to us to help promote a healthy diet and exercise but what else can we do? Here are a few examples of the bad habits that we may be teaching them without even realizing it.
- Making Excuses – You tell your friends that you’re busy this weekend, when in reality all you want to do is stay in and watch movies. We all make excuses for getting out of things, but this rubs off on kids. You might make your kids go to practice, but as long as they think making excuses is normal and acceptable, they can make excuses for their performance and attitude. This can have a direct effect on your children’s enthusiasm, success and ultimately their fitness levels.
- Leading a Busy Lifestyle – While it’s true that it is better to be busy than lazy, there are limits. Packing your kid’s schedules full of school clubs, sports and homework, leaves little time left for relaxation. It’s important to let kids make their own fun and do their own exercise through play—both for their health and for their development. They could end up burning out if made to be too busy, leaving their bodies unhealthy and inefficient.
- Bad Sleeping Patterns – Factors, such as high sugar levels and too much screen time, are some reasons why kids might experience insomnia and other sleep problems. Compared to well-rested kids, tired children are more likely to experience issues with concentration, mental health, growth, weight gain and their immune systems. Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to the overall health, fitness and well-being of your kids. 11 hours a night is suggested for preschoolers and even more for toddlers. The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours. However, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours (studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep).
- Too Much Technology – These days, kids learn to use technology at such a young age that they spend their whole lives texting, playing video games and staring at screens. This has become all too common and is a fairly new phenomenon as kids today are the first generation to encounter so much technology. The problem is that their bodies aren’t built for this kind of activity. In addition to limiting their screen time, teach your kids good posture and the importance of taking regular breaks to avoid joint and muscle problems which could have a serious impact on their fitness.
We are only human and inevitably make mistakes. We all have bad habits, and as hard as we try, we do pass some of these on to our kids. Granted, these are only a few examples, as every child and situation is different. That is why Total Nutrition Technology has developed the TNT Youth Program.
TNT Youth is specifically designed for the younger age group, 10-18 years old. We will help create healthy eating habits and lifestyles before unhealthy habits even start! This program offers customized plans that covers aspects such as:
- Encouraging activity in those not involved in a sport.
- Learning nutrition principles in an easy-to-understand lesson plan that encourages teens to take charge of their nutrition and understand why good nutrition is important.
- Learning the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
- Learning how to make good choices when eating out in places such as the cafeteria, restaurants, and friends’ houses.
- Being able to read food-labels and determine what is and is not a healthy choice.
- The convenience of availability in-person, by phone or online.
Let TNT help you and your children lead more active and healthy lives.
Contact TNT today for more information and your free consultation.