Our kids are our future. Let’s raise them right today for a better tomorrow.
As a parent or carer, you’re holding the future of our community in your hands.
It’s really important that we make sure our young fellas grow up to be healthy, strong members of the community – that way they’re less likely to develop serious health problems when they’re older, which can shorten their life expectancy.
There’s heaps you can do to help your kids grow up healthy. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you.
Water, water everywhere
While kids usually love anything sweet, they really don’t need sweet drinks to quench their thirst. Too many sweet drinks can lead to tooth decay, as well as weight gain and growth problems.
Sweet drinks aren’t just sugary soft drinks. Cordial, flavoured milks and sport or energy drinks are all filled with sugar. Even fruit juice, which contains naturally occurring sugar, are unhealthy in large amounts, as the sugar found in fruit is much more concentrated in juice form.
Kids really don’t need any sweet drinks to be healthy. Encourage them to drink water when they’re thirsty. Don’t keep sweet drinks in your house – keep a jug of fresh, cool water in the fridge at home instead, and provide your kids with a water bottle to take to school.
Fruit and vegies are best!
Encourage your kids to eat fresh fruit and vegetables instead of drinking fruit juice. Tinned and frozen fruit and vegetables are also good.
Fruit and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals and fibre to a kid’s diet. They also satisfy hunger for longer, which helps prevent any sneaky snacking on junk food.
Your kids need two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day.
1 serve of fruit = 1 medium sized piece of fruit or 2 small pieces of fruit, 1 cup of tinned fruit or 4 pieces of dried fruit.
1 serve of vegetables = 1 medium potato, ½ cup cooked vegies, 1 cup salad vegies or ½ cup legumes (beans, peas and lentils)
Keep bad foods at bay
Kids do love junk food, and it’s fine to treat them occasionally, jut keep it to a minimum. Junk food tends to be very high in fat, salt and sugar, all of which is terrible for growing bodies and can lead to weight gain, so the less your kids eat, the better.
You can reduce temptation by not keeping bad foods in the house. Remember that you need to set your own good example by avoiding junk and going for fruit or vegies if you want a snack.
Get ’em moving
Kids love to watch TV and play computer games, but there’s also heaps of fun stuff to do that involves physical activity.
You can encourage your kids to be more active by making sure your kids’ TV and computer time is limited. Make sure you turn off the TV while the family is eating, and don’t allow TVs in your children’s bedrooms.
You’ll also need to set a good example yourself, and limit your own TV time.
Make sure your kids have a safe place to play, and safe equipment to play with. Encourage them to get involved in sport, and support them in any physical activities they may enjoy.
Kids need at least an hour of active play a day, other wise they’ll be at risk of weight gain and the many health problems that are associated with that.
See your doctor
Everyone needs to see their doctor regularly, even if they’re healthy. Make sure you take your kids for regular check-ups, and always see a doctor if you have any concerns about your kids’ health.