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Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

  This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff in collaboration with Sanford Health Systems.

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Let your kids know that getting up and exercising works the part of their brain that should help them feel better. You could suggest taking a walk or going on a treasure hunt in the backyard.

Or they could listen to some soothing music to help them chill. Teach them that these are all great ways to relax and feel good, so they’ll be energized to make healthy choices. Then, challenge them to see what they can come up with.

Talk to your child about what she's doing. Every child is different. Some kids can handle a lot of different things. Others like doing just one. Don't assume you know how your child feels. Observe what she's doing and have conversations.

"If your child starts to melt down from too many commitments, there’s nothing to gain by insisting she stick with them all," says Markham. 

If she heads for the junk food and stress-eats when she knows that she has a game, then a party, then a music lesson later today, it may be safe to assume she's dealing with overload in an unhealthy way. Ask her which activities she likes most, and suggest that she stick with just one.

Explain to her, too, that sometimes people eat when they're bored; maybe she just isn't having fun with the activities she's doing. If that's the case, find something for the two of you to do. Have a dance-off in the living room or jump rope in the yard; they're great ways to move, have fun, and feel good.

"Remember that playing is about as stress-free for most children as it can get," says George Scarlett, PhD,  of Tufts University. "That’s because in play, children can take control!"

 

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