Complexity seems almost built into children’s lives today. As we return to some form of normality post Covid lockdown, it is apparent many children have adopted behaviours and routines that may not promote health.
Obesity is a global epidemic. Studies project that by 2025, 16% (268 million) of the world’s children will be overweight or obese, making largely preventable health conditions such as type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and stroke more prevalent.
This summer, CHAMP (Child Healthy Active Multiagency Programme) once again wish to stress the importance of creating an informative, pragmatic and supportive environment to help children and families make appropriate choices towards healthy living. Small changes to our lifestyle can reap huge benefits…
Children under five years should have around three hours of activity a day.
Children aged five to 16 years need to be active for at least 60 minutes each day.
All activity helps- use the stairs instead of the lift; enjoy a walk before or after dinner, dance, play, and cycle – whatever works for your family!
Being active is all about having fun, this helps us keep at it, helps us feel stronger, fitter, more energetic and ultimately better for doing it.
Have at least 5 portions of various fruit and vegetables each day, add in as much colour as you can to “eat a rainbow”
Keep fizzy drinks or sugary fruit juices to a minimum, consider swapping for sugar-free squash or water
Avoid too many sweet treats, such as chocolate bars or cakes, and opt for fresh fruit; aim for 2 portions of fruit and veg for snacks
Enjoy calcium-rich food items to encourage bone health
Encourage starchy foods that provide slow release energy e.g. rice, potatoes, bread… Around a fist sized portion is recommended
Have a daily palm sized portion of protein e.g. lean meat, fish, lentils, beans, eggs…
Remember meal sizes should be appropriate to the person eating them!
Read more on healthy living and CHAMP, see: www.HealthyGibraltar.org