Eating well and exercising as a kid shouldn’t be boring. There are plenty of fun ways for your child to learn a new sport or find a favorite healthy food. With these tips, they’ll be able to get in shape, have more energy, and make new friends.
Here are six ways kids can stay healthy while having a blast!
1. Swim Lessons
Swim lessons are a great way for kids to learn basic safety and water skills, as well as make new friends at the pool. Whether your child is a toddler or a teen, they can gain confidence in the water and develop a love of swimming.
Local community centers and gyms often have parent-child swim classes for babies to 3-year-olds. There, your baby will explore the water while you learn about safety, supervision, and accident prevention.
Your older kids can enjoy lessons, too, where they’ll discover different strokes and rhythmic breathing while swimming. Kids will also learn how to swim to safety and exit the pool if they happen to fall in.
2. Youth Sports
Youth sports will teach your child the fundamentals of different games while encouraging them to bond with teammates. Playing on a team helps kiddos develop respect, responsibility, and self-confidence. And it gets them off the couch and on the field (or court).
When your child plays a sport, they’ll improve their balance, muscle and bone strength, and endurance. But in the long run, kids who play sports will also have a lower risk of high blood pressure and chronic disease.
What’s more, this is a great time for kids to figure out what activities they enjoy! They can play soccer, basketball, t-ball, and more. Whatever sport your child picks, they’ll be getting active and having fun.
3. Healthy, Tasty Food
Who said healthy meals have to taste bad? There are lots of foods you may not know are good for you and your children. Berries, dark chocolate, and peanut butter are just a few that your kiddo might actually like.
Try incorporating some of these yummy, nutritious foods into your child’s diet. For example, you can serve them a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, or top everyone’s cereal with a few berries in the morning.
And instead of hiding veggies, why not let your child help out with dinner so they know what goes into a healthy meal? Sign up for a local cooking class, where you and your kiddo can learn safety tips and ideas for prepping meals with the family.
4. Diabetes Education
Whether your child has diabetes or you want to help them prevent it, an education program may be right for your family. This can teach your kiddos diabetes management, risk factors, and obesity prevention.
Of the 460,000 diabetics in Indiana, 62,000 are kids ages 10-17. But children can manage their condition by taking insulin and checking their blood sugar levels throughout the day. Diabetes education is also useful if you need ideas for a nutritious, kid-friendly diet.
And even if your kiddo is healthy, you can still learn how to help them avoid diabetes and childhood obesity. Cutting back on sugar, playing in the park, and eating dinner with the family are just a few things your child can do to stay healthy.
5. Summer Camp
While kids can get healthy all year long, it’s especially fun when school’s out! Summer camps are a great way for children to have fun, learn new skills, and make friends while staying active all day long.
Your kiddo can swim, try archery, do arts and crafts, go through an obstacle course, and more. You’ll find preschool camps, overnight sessions, and even counselor training for teens.
Summer camps also have a different theme each week. Check them out to see which ones match your child’s interests, and get ready to hear all about your kiddo’s summer camp adventures!
6. After-School Programs
If you can’t pick your child up from school right away, that doesn’t mean they have to be sitting still until you can get them. After-school care is a safe, fun option for kids to keep learning (and moving) while you finish up the workday.
Along with homework help, your community center may offer sports, arts and crafts, games, and more. This will cut down on your child’s after-school screen time while encouraging them to have fun with others.
Check with your child’s school to see if there’s an after-school program available. You won’t have to worry about your kiddo while you finish work — they’ll be staying active and having a blast!
With these six tips, your child will love getting (and staying) healthy!
If you want to incorporate exercise and nutrition into your family’s daily life, your local YMCA is a great resource. We also have after-school programs that keep your kids active and safe until you can pick them up after work.
The Lafayette Family YMCA is a community dedicated to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website here.