Tips, Tools and Activities
April brings more sunshine and numerous colors outside as well as indoors. As fruits and vegetables are harvested in different parts of the nation, be sure to add as much color to your plate as you see outside. Remember to "Eat the Rainbow" throughout the week because variety is a part of a healthy lifestyle. Kids will enjoy tracking what fruits, vegetables and colors they have eaten. Add a checklist to the refrigerator and see if you "Eat the Rainbow": red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
With more opportunity for activity both indoors and outdoors, healthy eating and hydration become very important. Often, kids who are active forget to stop and drink water to rehydrate. Even parents forget how much extra water they need once the temperature increases. Drinking water throughout the day is best for both children and adults. The first sign of dehydration is the feeling of thirst. Asking children if they are thirsty is an easy way to encourage hydration during the day. A glass of water before bedtime is a great way to prevent feelings of thirst during sleep and drinking a glass of water in the morning is a great way to start the day.
Springtime brings warmth and more hours of daylight. It may be hard to relax and prepare for bed while it is still light outside. It is important to make healthy decisions all the way up to bedtime, this includes choice of beverage. Caffeine is a chemical found in food and beverage products that acts as a stimulant. Caffeine can make it hard to relax and fall asleep. Be sure your home avoids caffeinated products before bedtime:
- Energy drinks
- Caffeinated coffee
- Energy gums
- Caffeinated teas
- Energy waters
- Caffeine pills, powders, mixes
- Dark chocolates
Q:My child loves riding bikes with his friends after school but I have noticed that only a handful of kids wear helmets. We discuss safety all of the time but I am worried other children will have an influence on mine. How can I support my children in making the healthy (safe) choice?
A:Peer pressure is never easy to handle but it is something children experience every day. Most of the time peer pressure happens when parents or adults are not around to intervene. The way a child chooses to respond to peer pressure begins at home. Family dinners are the perfect time to discuss the importance of helmet use. Ask your children what they think about safety and how it makes them feel to not see their friends wearing helmets. You might be surprised by their observations, thoughts and feelings.