Parent Resource. Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family

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1 Parent Resource Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family

2 There are many benefits of eating healthy and being active for you and your family. Healthy eating and physical activity can: improve overall health and promote healthy growth and development. help friends and family to spend more time together. build your child s confidence, knowledge and skills. enhance your child s ability to learn. help you and your family to keep a healthier body weight. 1 Spend Time Together page 3 2 Build it Into Every Day page 7 3 Get Your Child Ready to Learn page 10 2 Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family

3 1 Spend Time Together Eating healthy and being physically active together help you to: Create connections: the time spent with your family helps to form bonds and gives you an opportunity to talk about your day. Create routines and stability: children can foresee what is coming next in the day. Role model healthy behaviours: being active decreasing screen time eating less foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat having less sugary drinks eating more vegetables and fruit Make family time active time Be a role model: more active parents have more active kids. Ask your child to help pick activities they would like to try. As a family, set a physical activity goal, make a plan and track your activity. Help your child develop basic movement skills needed to be active later in life. Active For Life: Developing Basic Movement Skills The ability to take part in different activities, games and sports with confidence stems from being able to do basic movements such as throwing, running or catching this is called physical literacy. For example, if a child can catch, they can take part in baseball, basketball or other activities that involve catching. A physically literate child is more likely to: 1. develop a positive attitude towards physical activity 2. feel confident to try new activities 3. continue to be active for life Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family 3

4 Make Meal Time Family Time Plan together: Children are more likely to eat meals they have helped plan. Have children come up with healthy snack and meal ideas using foods they enjoy. Shop together: Remember, you decide which foods come home from the grocery store. Buy foods that you want your children to eat. Have children find a new vegetable or fruit that your family can try. Prepare together: Involving your family in preparing meals can help them to develop healthy eating habits while learning new food skills. Eat together: Aim to eat together as a family as much as possible without distractions (e.g. away from the television). Involve the whole family in setting the table and cleaning up. Food Skills Food skills are a set of necessary skills to prepare safe, nutritious food. They include: knowledge (e.g. label reading) planning (e.g. budgeting) conceptualizing (e.g. adjusting recipes) mechanical techniques (e.g. chopping) food perception (e.g. texture, taste) 4 Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family

5 Food Skills for All Ages Depending on the age of your child, here are some skills that you can practice doing together. Age Food Skill 3-4 Year olds Remove shells from hard boiled eggs. Pour from a small pitcher or measuring cup. Help make a simple sandwich or pizza with pre-assembled ingredients. Take a certain number of carrots or whole wheat bagels out of a bag. 4-6 Year olds Measure, combine and stir ingredients together. Slice soft cooked vegetables, soft fruit, cheese or tofu with a plastic knife. 6-8 Year olds Safely use simple kitchen equipment (grater, toaster, blender or can opener). Make a simple whole wheat tortilla wrap. Invent a fruit salad or smoothie recipe. Help make a simple breakfast Year olds Using a knife with easy to cut foods. Use the microwave with your help. Make their own lunch. Make a fresh vegetable or fruit platter. Use the stove with supervision to make basic recipes (e.g. omelette or grilled cheese sandwich) Year olds Pack their own lunch for school. Go through flyers together to create a grocery list. Involve them in food budgeting. When shopping, help them to make healthier choices by reading nutrition facts labels. Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family 5

6 Play With Your Child Playing with your child is a great way to: spend time together. learn healthy eating skills. get physical activity while having fun. It is important to provide opportunities for both structured and unstructured play. Examples of: Unstructured Play Structured Play Healthy Eating using utensils to prepare plastic food playing market and selling plastic foods attending a cooking class selecting a recipe to make together Physical Activity playground activities walking to school bike riding team sports dance class swim lessons Leadership and group skills Benefits of unstructured play Creativity Strong parent bonds Imagination Healthy child development 6 Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family

7 2 Build it Into Every Day Healthy Eating Guidelines Food Guide Servings Eating Well with Canada s Food Guide describes what amount of food people need and what type of food is part of healthy eating. Canada s Food Guide includes foods from each of the four food groups: vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives. Food Group What Is A Food Guide Serving? Serving Size Vegetables and Fruit ½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruit 1 piece of fruit Grain Products 1 slice of whole wheat bread ¾ cup hot cereal 30 grams of cold cereal Milk and Alternatives 1 cup of milk 1% or 2% M.F. (Milk Fat) ¾ cup of low-fat yogurt Meat and Alternatives 2 eggs 2.5 ounces cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, or lean meat Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family 7

8 Physical Activity Guidelines According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, children ages 5-11 and youth ages need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Moderate intensity activity will cause you to sweat a little and breathe harder. Examples include: brisk walking, playground activities, biking and skating. Vigorous intensity activity will cause you to sweat and be out of breath. Examples include: running, swimming, rollerblading and cross-country skiing. Building healthy eating and physical activity into everyday routines can help your family achieve these guidelines. Build Physical Activity Into Every Day: Walk or wheel to and from the places you need to go. Play music and dance. Try to play outside with your child every day. Go for a family walk after dinner and discover nature. Go for a family bike ride to the park. Reduce Sedentary Time : Interrupt long car trips with stretching and physical activity. Limit screen time to less than 2 hours per day. Encourage your child to play actively instead of using screen based devices. Remove TVs from your child s bedroom. 8 Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family

9 Make Vegetables And Fruit Part Of Your Family s Day Here are some ways to help your family eat the recommended number of vegetables and fruit: Ask your children: You decide which healthy foods to offer. Let your children decide which of these foods they will eat and how much. Keep mealtimes free of pressure: Help children create positive and healthy eating habits by not using food as a reward or punishment. It can take at least 10 times before they will try a food and like it. Offer new foods on different days, at different meals and in different recipes. Prepare one family meal: Making one meal for the family will create less stress for the family member who is making the meal. This also allows you to role model eating a healthy meal to your children. Eat at regular times: Offer meals and 2-3 snacks at regular times each day. Make food exciting to eat: Give foods funny names such as X-ray Vision Carrots. Serve food in funny ways (e.g. cut vegetables/ fruit into fun shapes with cookie cutters or make fruit kabobs). Have children eat the rainbow by eating vegetables and fruit of different colours throughout the day. Prepare grab and go options: Keep washed and cut up vegetables in the fridge at eye level for a quick snack. Canned or frozen vegetables are quick and easy, so stock up. Buy precut vegetables and salad mixes for quick and easy additions to any meal. Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family 9

10 3 Get Your Child Ready To Learn Eating healthy, being active and getting enough sleep can help your child to learn by helping them to be settled and attentive. Get Enough Sleep: A happy bedtime routine combines what both the parent and child need. Here are some examples: Some foods or drinks may make it more difficult for your child to sleep (e.g. those high in sugar or caffeine). Try to use the time before bed to do a calming activity. Try to give your child notice when bedtime is coming up. Tucking your child into bed helps him/her feel secure. It is important for a child s bedroom to be a place that they can enjoy spending time in and not a place for discipline. What is Enough Sleep? Children (3-5 years old) need hours. Children (5-10 years old) need hours. Children (11-17 years old) need 8-10 hours. Fuel Up for the School Day! To help your child have energy to learn, it is important to have a healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks. What to include in snacks/meals?: Aim for snacks that have foods from at least 2 of the 4 food groups in Canada s Food Guide. An example of a time saving snack is mini carrots and hummus. Aim for breakfast and lunch to have foods from at least 3 of the 4 food groups in Canada s Food Guide. An example of a time saving breakfast/ lunch is a homemade sandwich or wrap with vegetables. Other tips to try: Prepare meals/snacks ahead of time with your children. Allow time for your children to eat breakfast. Have children try new foods at home before sending them to school. When packing drinks, choose healthier options such as water or milk. Sugary drinks, such as pop or juice, are the main source of added sugar in the daily diet of children. Help your family make healthier drink choices by: Role modeling for your children by choosing water first. Replacing sugary drinks in the fridge with a pitcher of water. Packing reusable water bottles that children can refill at school. Encouraging your family to eat their fruit and vegetables instead of drinking juice. Build Physical Activity Around the School Day: Walking to and from school will help prepare your child to learn during the day. Playing after school, especially outdoors, can be a good way for kids to re-focus for homework or other evening activities. Taking short physical activity breaks during homework time such as stretching or taking the dog for a walk. 10 Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family

11 Being active, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep are important for people of all ages and abilities. Follow up with your health care provider if you have specific needs and develop a routine that works for you. Creating Healthy Routines for You and Your Family 11

12 DURHAM REGION HEALTH DEPARTMENT May Durham Health Connection Line or durham.ca If you require this information in an accessible format, contact

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