The fight against childhood obesity is just one part in helping children to be healthy. Whilst being a healthy weight is vital for children’s physical health, being healthy involves a wide range of factors from mental wellbeing to nutrition, all of which need to be taken into consideration when ensuring children live happy and healthy lifestyles.
These are the 7 key factors that children need to be healthy.
Exercise is vital for children’s health. Regular exercise ensures children remain fit, as well as enabling them to burn off excess calories which helps them to stay at a healthy weight. As well as this, regular exercise helps to improve children’s wellbeing and generally makes children happier. One of the best ways of ensuring children get regular exercise is by encouraging active play, where through playing games they are active and facing physical challenges.
Regularly being outdoors has a lot of health benefits for children. Research has shown that being outdoors helps to improve happiness levels. As well as this, being outside is considered to help reduce stress and anxiety, this is especially important when children are sitting exams and tests. Along with improving mental wellbeing, being outdoors also encourages children to be more active and, as such, helps to keep them at a healthy weight and physically fit.
Sometimes overlooked, but encouraging children to build strong friendships will improve their health. While some children will prefer a wide group of friends, others will rather have one or two friends – either way, simply encouraging a child to build strong friendships will help improve their health by increasing their happiness and reducing their loneliness.
Encouraging children to have healthy eating habits from a young age is an important factor in improving their health. Eating healthy and nutritious meals that have been made from scratch will ensure that children get the nutrients they need to feed their growing bodies. As well as this, avoiding processed foods as much as possible will mean that children won’t be eating foods full of unnecessary sugar and salt.
Time to relax
While children often seem to have boundless amounts of energy, in order to be healthy they also need time to relax. For some children this can be sitting quietly and reading, while for others it is watching their favourite television programme. Whatever way the child enjoys relaxing it is important for children to have this time, especially before they are about to have a nap or go to bed. This relaxation time allows children to settle themselves down and helps them to learn how to relax, which will have a positive impact on their health moving into adulthood.
Surrounding children with positivity will help to improve their mental wellbeing. Being positive doesn’t mean not allowing children to fail, however it does mean that when a child does fail they understand that failure is part of life and that they can use it as a stepping stone to being successful at another time. As well as this, encouraging children to be positive and think positively will help to improve their happiness and wellbeing, along with their confidence, but without creating a sense of entitlement and arrogance.
Support and security
Whether in the classroom or in the family home, ensuring children feel supported and secure is vital for their health. Children rely on adults to provide and protect them and it is important for their mental wellbeing that they feel that they can rely on adults to provide this for them, while slowly learning to be more independent as they mature.
From physical health to mental wellbeing, there are many factors that need to be taken into account to ensure children are healthy and grow into healthy, happy and successful adults, however following these 7 key factors will help children to develop into healthy and happy young adults.