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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.

    Healthy Habit 3: Use pedometers to get everyone moving.

    It doesn’t do a lot of good to demand that your child exercise. Instead, inspire the whole family to move more.

    One trick: Give each family member a pedometer or activity tracker. Once a kid starts to track how many steps he's taking, it's pretty natural to want to take more. At the end of the day, everyone can compare their numbers and chart their progress. Some smartphone apps for kids, like Move2Draw, turn activity tracking into a game, which can make it even more fun for them.

    How many steps should your child take? While many adults aim for 10,000 per day, a kid’s target should be higher. One study found that for kids ages 6 to 12, a healthy goal was 12,000 steps a day for girls and 15,000 for boys.

    That might seem like a lot, but kids naturally move more than adults. A child's stride is much shorter, so they won't walk as far as you will.

    Start slowly, and make it fun! You don’t have to march everyone around the block. Instead, team up for a game of soccer in the backyard or take a family hike.

    Healthy Habit 4: Make smart snacks the easy choice.

    If your fridge and pantry are stocked with nutritious stuff, you won’t have to worry about keeping kids away from junk food.

    At the grocery store, buy only foods that you want your child to eat. Swap the chips, candy, and soda for better options like whole-grain crackers, fresh or frozen fruit, and milk.

    At home, keep portions of cut-up fruits and veggies, trail mix, and cheese and crackers easy for kids to find.

     

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