How eill healthy eating and physical activity help my child? How eill healthy eating and physical activity help my child?
National Institute of Health

Eating well and being physically active are key to your child’s well-being. Eating too much and exercising too little can lead to overweight and related health problems that can follow children into their adult years. You can take an active role in helping your child-and your whole family-learn healthy eating and physical activity habits.


How will healthy eating and physical activity help my child? All children benefit from healthy eating and physical activity. A balanced diet and being physically active help children:

– grow
– learn
– build strong bones and muscles
– have energy
– maintain a healthy weight
– avoid obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes
– get plenty of nutrients
– feel good about themselves


How are my child’s eating and activity habits formed?
Parents play a big role in shaping children’s eating habits. When parents eat a variety of foods that are low in fat and sugar and high in fiber, children learn to like these foods as well. It may take 10 or more tries before a child accepts a new food, so do not give up if your child does not like a new food right away.

Parents have an effect on children’s physical activity habits as well. You can set a good example by going for a walk or bike ride after dinner instead of watching TV. Playing ball or jumping rope with your children shows them that being active is fun.

With many parents working outside the home, child care providers also help shape children’s eating and activity habits. Make sure your child care provider offers well-balanced meals and snacks, as well as plenty of active play time.