Health and Parenting

Raising Fit Kids: Mood

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  • Question 1/9

    Eating on the go isn’t good for kids.

  • Answer 1/9

    Eating on the go isn’t good for kids.

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    Fries and chicken nuggets aren’t the only to-go options. You can still make nutritious choices when your family has to have dinner in the car or in the bleachers. Whole fruits, chopped veggies, nuts, whole-grain bread, yogurt, and hummus or lean deli meats are all easy to prep, pack, and take with you.

    It just takes a little planning: Stock up on the right ingredients, then prep snacks and meals ahead of time. You’re more likely to eat well when you have healthy options ready to go.

  • Question 1/9

    You have a little free time on Saturday afternoon. What’s a healthy way to spend it?  

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    You have a little free time on Saturday afternoon. What’s a healthy way to spend it?  

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    Games that get your family up and moving are a healthy way to have some fun downtime. Keep jump ropes, balls, kites, and other active toys around for the next time your family has a few free minutes. Want to feel more productive? You can take care of a garden together or tackle some household chores. Exercise can help both kids and adults relax, burn off energy, and sleep better at night.

  • Answer 1/9

    When parents make rules about screen time, kids:

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    Even if your kids object, rules about screen time do make a difference. Set some that you can enforce consistently. That could mean weekly screen time limits, rules about the types of screens kids can use or where they use them, or what they are allowed to watch and play.

    Be a good example and put your phone and computer away, especially during meals. Even better, come up with a few ideas for fun family time without screens.

  • Question 1/9

    You need to grab a quick dinner on the way home. Where should you shop?  

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    You need to grab a quick dinner on the way home. Where should you shop?  

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    Head for the plain, chopped vegetables in the freezer aisle. They’re easy to add to other healthy staples, like whole-grain pasta or rice, beans, or tomato sauce. Buy a few options so you can stash some for the next busy night.

    Meal planning can help you steer clear of a last-minute drive-thru run, too. Make a list of your family’s favorite meals and build a grocery list. Keep a few go-to staples in your pantry or fridge that you can throw together quickly any night.

  • Question 1/9

    A regular bedtime benefits kids under 14 the most.  

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    A regular bedtime benefits kids under 14 the most.  

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    Bedtimes are good for kids of all ages -- and adults, too. Going to sleep at the same time every night keeps the body’s internal clock on track and makes it easier to get up in the morning.

    So set a time for each member of your family to turn in every night. Remember: Grade-schoolers need 9 to 12 hours of sleep a night, teens need 8 to 10, and adults should get around 8.

  • Question 1/9

    It’s time for bed, and you’re not sleepy. You should: 

  • Answer 1/9

    It’s time for bed, and you’re not sleepy. You should: 

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    Kids and adults should spend the hour before bed relaxing to get their brains ready to sleep. Baths are a great way to calm down, but reading or listening to quiet music are good choices, too.  

    Your phone or computer, however, won’t help you wind down. Make sure everyone powers their devices down about an hour before bed. And adults should avoid alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime.

  • Question 1/9

    Under pressure? The best way to ease stress is to:

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    Under pressure? The best way to ease stress is to:

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    Get yourself up next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. A 20-minute walk when you’re stressed can help you feel better for hours. And regular exercise helps you relax and feel good about yourself.

    It doesn’t take a trip to the gym to bust stress -- cleaning your house, biking, or doing an exercise video all work, too. Even better: You’ll show your kids there are healthy ways to handle a tough day.  

  • Question 1/9

    The healthiest way to order dinner out is:  

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    The healthiest way to order dinner out is:  

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    It’s usually possible to find a healthy option at most restaurants, including many fast-food places. The best bets have items from different food groups, like lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Salads on the menu aren’t always healthy -- some can be high in calories, so avoid those with lots of dressing, cheese, and fried or fatty toppings.

    Other tips: Pick grilled foods over fried, and ask for sauce on the side. Skip sugary drinks and sip milk, water, or unsweetened tea instead.

  • Question 1/9

    You want your kids to be healthy and get ahead. You should schedule:  

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    You want your kids to be healthy and get ahead. You should schedule:  

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    Eating with family can keep kids at a healthy weight, teach them how to eat well, and help them do better in school. Studies show families that eat home-cooked meals together three or more times a week get these benefits.

    So choose to cook at home whenever you can. Planning easy meals, using slow cookers, and pre-cooking freezer meals make it easier. 

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    Results:

    Great job! You know what to do to keep your family happy and healthy. 

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    Not bad. You know there are chances all day to make healthy choices for your family.

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    It looks like you got some new ideas about how to make every day fit. Remember, the small choices you make all day matter!

Sources | Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on January 19, 2018 Medically Reviewed on January 19, 2018

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on
January 19, 2018

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

  1. Getty Images

 

SOURCES:

CDC: “Planning Meals,” “How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight.”

American Heart Association: “Ideas to Get Your Family Active.”

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Everyday Ideas to Move More,” “Reduce Screen Time.”

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation: “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 Year Olds January 2010.”

Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine: “Adopt Good Sleep Habits.”

Harvard Medical School: “Healthy Sleep: Twelve Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Healthy Sleep Habits: How Many Hours Does Your Child Need?” “The Benefits and Tricks to Having a Family Dinner.”

American Psychological Association: “Five Tips to Help Manage Stress.”

Mayo Clinic: “Exercise and Stress: Get Moving To Manage Stress,” “Stress Relievers: Tips to Tame Stress.”

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Seven Healthy Tips for Dining Out.”

Cleveland Clinic: “How to Eat Healthy at Your Favorite Restaurants.”

Common Sense Media: “How much screen time is OK for my kid(s)?”

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.