Health and Parenting

Raising fit Kids: Mood

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  • Question 1/9

    When your child hears you talk about feeling fat or going on a diet, she learns:

  • Answer 1/9

    When your child hears you talk about feeling fat or going on a diet, she learns:

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    Bad-mouthing your body shape and size -- or your child’s -- teaches her that she should worry about those things, too. And that can backfire. Kids who hear a lot of negative talk about weight are more likely to be overweight or have an eating disorder later on.

    If you’re worried about your or your child’s weight, focus instead on starting healthy behaviors together, like avoiding junk foods and getting more exercise. When you start making good changes, kids will notice.  

  • Question 1/9

    Family time is more important than squeezing in a workout.

  • Answer 1/9

    Family time is more important than squeezing in a workout.

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    Don’t feel guilty for taking “me time” at the gym. It’s important for your kids to see you head out for a run or to a yoga class. It teaches them that exercise is enjoyable and part of everyday life. Studies show the more active you are, the more active your child will be.  

    Even better, get your kids to join you for a walk, bike ride, swim, or basketball game. They’ll be more likely to get in the habit of exercise themselves. That’s a family tradition that will pay off for life.

  • Question 1/9

    Feeling drained? Which can help you get the rest you need?

  • Answer 1/9

    Feeling drained? Which can help you get the rest you need?

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    Bedtimes aren’t just for your children. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day keeps your internal clock in sync and makes it easier to get up in the morning. And sticking to your own bedtime gives you more clout when you tell your kids to hit the sack.

    Sleeping in on weekends can be OK, but keep it to about an hour of extra ZZZs. More than that just throws you off track (and feels like jet lag).

  • Question 1/9

    You shouldn’t get mad, upset, or frustrated in front of your child.

  • Answer 1/9

    You shouldn’t get mad, upset, or frustrated in front of your child.

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    It’s actually good for kids to watch you feel, express, and deal with emotions in a healthy way. They’ll learn to take care of their emotional health and to how to handle negative feelings.

    But your kids will also learn from howyou get to a better mood. So instead of turning to a pint of ice cream or hours of a TV show to ease stress, try exercise or a relaxing activity like reading or drawing to calm down.

  • Question 1/9

    Putting away your phone and turning off the TV while you eat can help you:

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    Putting away your phone and turning off the TV while you eat can help you:

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    When you’re distracted during meals and snacks, it can make you more likely to overeat. So make it a mealtime rule to put away devices -- both adults and kids. That makes it easier for everyone to pay attention to what they’re eating and make healthy choices at the table. Slow down, talk about the taste of your food, and stop when you feel full. You might find you enjoy your meal more -- and the conversation at the table.

  • Question 1/9

    Kids need breakfast, but it’s not that important for parents.

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    Kids need breakfast, but it’s not that important for parents.

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    A morning meal gives kids energy for school, helps their mood, and can keep weight in check. For parents, the benefits are about the same. Adults who skip are more likely to overeat at lunch or snack all day. Plus, if your kids see you enjoying breakfast, they learn that it’s a good way to start off the day. Fit breakfast into the morning rush with grab-and-go options for the whole family like homemade muffins, instant oatmeal, and hardboiled eggs.

  • Answer 1/9

    Screen time is OK when:

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    There’s nothing wrong with a weekly family movie night or watching a football game together. In fact, it’s good for parents to watch shows or play video games along with kids so you can keep tabs on the content. But be aware of how much time you’re logging on the couch. Screen time shouldn’t replace healthier activities, like sleep or exercise, for kids or adults. So mix in other ways to have family fun. Try playing a board game or kicking a soccer ball around outside.

  • Question 1/9

    Your kids won’t touch fruits and vegetables. So you should:

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    Your kids won’t touch fruits and vegetables. So you should:

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    Eating your own fruits and vegetables is a good start to convincing your kids to eat them. Even if they push their broccoli away at first (or over and over again), if you eat and enjoy it, your kids will be more likely to try it eventually. Don’t force them to eat anything, and resist the urge to fix them a PB&J every night just so they eat something. Be patient, and keep serving the food, maybe in different forms, fun shapes, or with healthy dipping sauces.

  • Question 1/9

    Eating together is good for the whole family. But it only counts when you:

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    Eating together is good for the whole family. But it only counts when you:

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    • Correct Answer:

    Even if you can’t do it every night, sharing family meals three or more times a week makes kids more likely to have a healthy weight and make good food choices. It even helps kids’ grades and emotional health, too. Show your kids it’s a priority by sitting down, switching off your phone, and focusing on the meal and each other.

    There’s no need to plan elaborate feasts. The benefits are the same if you’re reheating leftovers or making quick sandwiches.

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Sources | Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on December 27, 2017 Medically Reviewed on December 27, 2017

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on
December 27, 2017

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

1) Getty Images

 

SOURCES:

Pediatrics: “Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents,” “Is Frequency of Shared Family Meals Related to the Nutritional Health of Children and Adolescents?”

Office on Women’s Health: “Body Image.”

American Journal of Preventative Medicine: “Parent’s Physical Activity Associated With Preschooler Activity in Underserved Populations.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “11 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active,” “Family Media Plan,” “Where We Stand: Screen Time,” “Energy Out: Daily Physical Activity Recommendations,” “The Benefits & Tricks to Having a Family Dinner.”

National Sleep Foundation: “How to Get on a Sleep Schedule,” “Pointers for Parents.”

Harvard Medical School: “Why ‘Sleeping in’ on Weekends Isn’t Good for Teens,” “Distracted Eating May Add to Weight Gain.”

Northwestern Medicine: “Being the Best Role Model.”

Stanford Children’s Health: “Boost Your Teen Daughter's Body Image.”

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Eating Attentively: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Effect of Food Intake Memory and Awareness on Eating.”

Circulation: “Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.”

American Heart Association: “How to Make Breakfast a Healthy Habit.”

Nielsen: “The Nielsen Total Audience Report Q1 2017.”

ChooseMyPlate.gov: “Vegetables,” “Fruits,” “My Plate.”

TeensHealth: “MyPlate Food Guide.”

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

KidsHealth: “Breakfast Basics.”

Mayo Clinic: “Does eating a healthy breakfast help control weight?” “Children’s nutrition: 10 tips for picky eaters.”

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.