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4 Smart Ways to Keep Kids Healthy

4 Smart Ways to Keep Kids Healthy

A high-speed train in 1960 zipped along at 100 mph; today the speeds are twice that. Locomotion has gotten faster with every generation, but we can't say the same about our kids. According to an Australian study that looked at 20 million children world-wide, it takes kids ages 9-17 a minute and a half longer to run a mile than it took their parents back when they were that age. And that's because kids are so much less active and more likely to be overweight.

So here are four smart ways to get kids back up to speed -- so they'll have a healthy body, a powerful brain and a happy outlook.

  1. Size down the dish. To keep your child from overeating (30% of kids are overweight or obese) cut the bowl or plate size in half. Kids will naturally -- you don’t have to say a word -- eat half as much!
  2. Add protein to breakfast so kids (and adults) have energy all day. Kids 9-14 need about 34g protein daily; for breakfast aim for 10-15 grams or 1 cup cooked oatmeal (5.5g), ¼ cup nonfat yogurt (3g), 1oz turkey bacon (5g).
  3. Limit screen time to 2 hours a day, max! -- and no TV or Internet in bedrooms. 
  4. Get kids playing, walking, moving, for a minimum of 60 minutes daily; and get out there and do it with them. Related: Try these tips for keeping kids active.

If that doesn't work, threaten to wake them up every morning with the phrase, "Why when I was your age..." That'll get them moving.

Medically reviewed in May 2019.

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