The idea that you can’t outrun a bad diet also applies to our little ones. A healthy kid is both active and well-fed, so we have compiled some great activities and eating tips to help you raise your own little superkids
Superkids are active kids
Even though activity levels are not the only factor to consider when regarding health, it is certainly a great place to start. Children that are active tend to grow up to be more active adults, are happier and have improved concentration at school.
When the sun is shining, it is easy to let children run amuck outside. But on rainy or cold days it is great to have some activities up your sleeve to keep them both active and entertained. Here are some of our favourite indoor activities for kids.
While it is easy to plop the kids down in front of the TV on rainy days, it is important to make sure they are active for parts of the day. You can try working with the weather and go play in the rain, or you can whip out the pens and pencils, build cushion forts and blow bubbles in the bathroom.
Other great activities to get your kids moving around include dancing until the music stops, making homemade slime or playdough, taking out the costume box, indoor bowling, teddy bear picnics and paper airplane crafts.
What about indoor party games for kids?
If a birthday or celebration falls on a rainy day, there are plenty of activities and crafts to entertain a crowd without letting the kids destroy the house. You can also choose activities that are both fun and educational, like mystery bag and skyscrapers
When it is time to simmer down, it is good to bring out some kid-friendly crafts. Get their imagination bubbling by teaching the little ones how to make their own pop-up book, or print out a photo of their favourite character and have them colour it in or draw a picture with it.
There are thousands of resources online for fun activities for kids. Find more on our Kids health hub
. Here you can also find more information on healthy eating – the next step to raising a superkid.
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Superkids have bellies full of nutritious foods
Kids’ eating habits are greatly affected by the way their parents eat. Some parents have the time to make healthy meals from scratch, but with both parents working and instances of informal child care (e.g. grandparents helping out) dropping in recent years, it is harder for parents to find the time.
You absolutely do not need to slave away in the kitchen to make sure your kid has healthy eating habits. Instead, focus on making some simple swaps, engaging fussy eaters in meal preparation and keeping your kids active.
First things first – what about the fussy eaters?
Kids are notorious for being specific about what types of foods they like and dislike. And it often goes that the foods they love are those packed with sugar, or have a big Mc in front of their names. We know that kids sometimes need to try a new food 15 times before they will accept it and this can be exhausting!
One trick is to offer fewer snacks throughout the day so that the kids are hungrier come meal time. Or instead of making a big fuss with a new food at mealtimes, offer new foods as snacks during the day.
Experts also suggest involving fussy eaters in the food preparation process to get them interested in new textures, smells and colours.
Feeding fussy kids can be a challenge, but you don’t need to exhaust yourself to add variety to their diets. Pick one small thing at a time and you may find that after a while they will be more inclined to try new things.
Healthy snacks for kids
When it comes to snack time, it is really easy to tear open a packet of chips or biscuits, especially when you know they are going to put a big smile on the kids’ faces and keep them preoccupied for a while. However, if this becomes an everyday habit, it won’t have their bellies smiling!
Most snacks should have some nutritional benefits and be low in sugar to support their development whilst fuelling their bodies.
One in two Australians are eating too much sugar. Instead of getting less than 10% of daily kilojoules from sugar, some kids are getting well over double this. The excess sugar in kids’ diets is coming from sugary drinks, cakes, muffins and confectionery.
Overconsumption is not only a key contributor to kids becoming overweight and the developing dental cavities, but it also means there is less room for nutritional foods in their diets. We certainly don’t need to raise sugar-free kids to have healthy kids, but their health will thank you if you can reduce excess sugar wherever possible.
Our 5 favourite kids recipes
To help you swap out some nibbles with healthier alternatives, here are some of our favourite snack recipes. They have no refined sugars and are simple to whip up.
1. The 5-minute berry nice smoothie
Packed with antioxidants, this smoothie
has no added sugar but still tastes like a sweet treat.
2. Sunday breakfast banana porridge pancakes
Fibre-rich and sure to be a favourite – these pancakes
have extra protein and can last a few days in the fridge, meaning you can send any leftovers to school as lunch.
3. Afternoon tea – lamington bites
Swap out the sponge cake with a cashew biscuit, top with fresh berries and dip in dark chocolate to avoid refined sugars while making this Aussie staple
4. Cooker and a Looker nut bars
While muesli bars are a great alternative to lollies to keep your kids fueled, they tend to be packed with sugars! Try making your own nut bars with stevia instead with this recipe from Cooker and a Looker
5. Sugar free kids easy peasy raw balls
Perfect for lunchboxes and ready in 1,2,3, these raw balls
are naturally sugar-free but your kids will never know! Sugar Free Kids have many other great recipes too.
If you would like to get the little ones involved in cooking, then try one of these easy recipes for kids