Nutrition Tips For Active Children
By Jazzercise, Inc.
(CARLSBAD, CA) -- There is a growing awareness that children today need greater access to physical activity, and many parents, schools and parks and recreation programs are responding by encouraging healthy exercise habits at a young age. But parents need to be equally aware of the nutritional needs of active children.
While fat is an important fuel source from infancy to two years of age, from that point on a child's dietary recommendations closely match those of adults. Specifically, a child's fat intake should be limited to 30 percent of his or her total calories, primarily as a deterrent to obesity and to heart disease later in life.
Likewise, fiber is important in a child's diet. Found in fruits, beans and vegetables, fiber reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. In addition, several fiber-rich foods supply energy-rich carbohydrates, which are an essential fuel for growing, active bodies.
When children reach adolescence, minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron are critical to development. For example, zinc influences a number of genes that dictate bone growth, appetite, and development of the reproductive system. Iron deficiencies can lead to anemia, fatigue and learning and memory problems. Unfortunately, a recent U.S. study found one in four adolescent girls to be iron deficient. And calcium and magnesium are extremely important for the development of strong bones.
So, don't stop with exercise. Make sure your children get a healthy dose of good nutrition, too. By emphasizing both, you will help them build a strong foundation for a fit and fulfilling life!
Team sports have always been a popular choice among children and parents, but you don't need to
field a team or invest in equipment to enjoy a bout of physical activity. The following exercise
offered by Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise, illustrates how you can
exercise together simply using the furniture you have at home.
Gentle stretching is a great way to begin or end any workout. Sitting on a chair, pull your tummy in as you reach one arm overhead. You should feel a stretch down the side of our body to your waist. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, trying to reach slightly higher with each passing second. Breathe evenly and naturally. Repeat for the opposite side, then continue alternating sides as desired.