Are your parents, teachers, and the other adults in your life constantly telling you to eat healthy? Do they encourage you to be more active? Believe it or not, there are good reasons to listen to their advice! Eating healthy and getting enough exercise is very important at all stages of life, but especially in childhood. Being physically active and eating the right kinds of nutritious foods gives your body the fuel it needs to grow big and strong. You will find yourself getting sick less frequently, and generally feeling better about yourself. Eating right and exercising can even help you to do better in school! Read on to discover the many benefits of nutrition and exercise.
Exercising, Playing and Staying Active!
- Exercise helps improve kids’ self–esteem and self-confidence. Kids who participate in regular physical activity feel better about themselves.
- Exercise reduces stress. Children who exercise on a regular basis report fewer feelings of anxiety.
- Exercise helps kids build strong bones, muscles and joints.
- Exercise helps kids maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise fosters good sleep habits. Children who exercise regularly sleep better at night.
- Exercise helps the learning process. Kids who exercise on a regular basis feel more ready and able to learn at school.
- Exercise is good for your heart. Aerobic exercise helps the heart to work more efficiently.
- Exercise increases flexibility. It improves kids’ range of motion and enables them to perform better in sports, martial arts, and dance.
- Exercise helps to balance your moods. Kids who exercise report being better at keeping feelings of anger under control.
- Exercise is fun! Endorphins are released when you exercise, making you feel good.
Nutrition for Growing Kids!
- Learning healthy eating habits in childhood encourages healthier eating as an adult.
- Eating healthy will help your body to grow properly.
- Eating right helps to keep you at a healthy weight.
- Eating healthy promotes strong muscles, teeth and bones.
- Eating healthy helps your skin to stay clear.
- Eating right helps your brain to work properly and improves learning.
- Eating right helps fend off illnesses and diseases, keeping you healthy.
- Getting the proper nutrition will help you to sleep more soundly.
- Eating healthy will help you to feel more motivated to stay physically active.
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Resources and Activities:
Nutrition and Fitness Center – Sponsored by KidsHealth, this website offers interactive games to teach kids about nutrition and fitness. Activities on exercising properly and special diets are also included.
Physical Activity: BAM! Body and Mind – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosts this website, which focuses on health topics of interest to children. These include food and nutrition, physical activity, safety and more.
CircusFit – Presented by Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus, this website includes music, fun and games to teach kids about getting fit, circus-style. Exercises, healthy eating tips from circus performers, and more are featured.
Kids World – Nutrition – The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services hosts this website, which offers interactive games on food and nutrition. Included are articles on nutritional labels, a coloring book, and more.
Kids.Gov- Health and Safety, Fitness and Exercise – Links to government sites that offer information for kids on fitness and exercise are offered here.
Favorite Snacks Memory Game – Kids must match friends with their corresponding healthy snack in this interactive memory game.
Fruit & Veggie Color Champions – The Better Health Foundation produces this website, which features an interactive game that teaches kids about healthy produce.
Nutrition For Kids – Interactive games on exercise, food groups and nutrition are offered here by Sheppard Software.
Fun Food Groups – The Hospital for Sick Children offers this website featuring an interactive game that teaches children about food groups and nutrition.
The Taste Buddies – The American Institute for Cancer Research hosts this site, which offers interactive games and characters who teach kids about nutrition and good, healthy foods.
WebMD Fit Kids – This website full of colorful graphics offers interactive tools on food, mood, exercise and more to help keep kids fit.
Nutrient Roundup – In this interactive game, kids must choose various items for lunch. They are then shown how these foods, and the nutrients they contain, are used by the body.
Nutrition Explorations – Interactive games on nutrition topics are featured on this website. Games include Quintricious, Nutrition Mixer and Food Force One.
Kidnetic.Com – Moving and staying active is the focus of this website. Interactive demonstrations on nutrition and how food nourishes the body are also included.
Food Fun from Apples to Zucchini – The University of Illinois Extension hosts this site, which features interactive online games on healthy food. Printable activities are also offered.
Health Games for Kids – Playnormous sponsors this site that offers health games, stories and more for kids to teach good eating habits and the importance of exercise.
Mission Nutrition – From Kidshealth; A nutrition challenge that gets you to explore the fridge and cabinets to learn about healthy and nutritious snacks.