Top 5 Ways to Keep your Child’s Health in Balance

Child swimming

By Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D.

This month I’ve decided to write down a general list of things that should be incorporated in to a child’s daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Balance is the key to healthy outcomes, and many people may not be aware what seemingly small tasks can do for a child’s growth and development, physically and mentally.

If you haven’t done so already, try slowly implementing these things to your child’s (and your own) life and see the impact these simple tasks can have!

1. Stay away from processed foods – Processed foods expose you and your children to unnatural and potentially harmful chemicals that are used to prolong the shelf-life of that product. Processed foods also contain massive amounts of sugar and sodium, artificial colours and are usually void of substantial nutrients. These things may not seem to be doing any harm at the time of consumption, but can negatively impact your child’s health and development, and can aggravate existing health problems.

2. 30-60 minutes of family time 1-2x/weekFamily support is key for building a child`s self-confidence, a trait that is essential for children to become well-adjusted adults. This is a time where you and your family can share and bond over common interests. This can also be a time where your child can talk to the family about problems at school, with friends, or even to work out problems surrounding family dynamics. Your child should feel like they can be themselves without the fear of being judged or punished. This will help establish healthy, supportive and trustful relationships amongst family members.

3. Limit video games and TV – TV and video games are highly addictive and can create negative impacts in your child`s physical, mental and social health. Kids who spend more than 2 hours daily watching tv, or playing video games tend to be less physically active and tend to struggle with schoolwork. Create clear limitations to the amount of time your child can engage in these activities, and give a clear explanation why they cannot spend all their free time on these activities. This will give your child the ability to willingly explore and become interested in other extracurricular activities. 1 hour a day of either television or videogames during the school week is more than enough.

4. Engage in family exercise at least 2x/week – Engaging in family activity time will not only help improve the health of all family members, but will instill the importance of exercise in your child as they grow and develop in to well-balanced adults. Children are impressionable and need to see people they respect and look up to, such as parents, setting an example of activities that are important to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Going for bike rides, hikes, skating, powerwalks (to name a few) are all fun family activities that are accessible and cost-effective.

5. Make dinner with the Kids 1 night per week – Creating healthy family dinners together provides your child with quality family time, and allows them to give their input on what they would like to eat. Iinvolving them in the dinner making process may make them more willing to accept and try new and exciting (healthy) foods.

Try adding these tips to your family lifestyle and see the positive benefits they can have on your family’s physical and emotional health!

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I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!

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