Taking Care of the Health and Fitness of Older Children

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  • Only 3.1 percent of adolescents are in fair or poor health, but 5.6 percent miss school due to illness.
  • Obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 is 21.2 percent, based on a survey in 2017-2018.
  • Encourage a balanced diet rich in fiber, nutrients, and vitamins to prevent unhealthy eating habits.
  • Encourage physical activities matching their interests and abilities to maintain a healthy weight and good mental health.
  • Monitor their oral and mental health, practicing good oral hygiene and creating a supportive and reassuring environment.

In 2021, only 3.1 percent of adolescents between 12 and 17 are in fair or poor health. However, 5.6 percent of adolescents in this age range missed at least 11 days of school in the past 12 months due to injury, illness, or disability. In 2017-2018, 21.2 percent of adolescents between 12 and 19 were classified as obese.

Parents always want their children to be healthy and happy. As they grow older, it gets more challenging to keep up with their health, especially when it comes to teenagers. They are in their phase of rapid growth and hormonal changes, making it essential to keep a check on their overall health and fitness. This blog post will discuss some tips on taking care of older children’s health and fitness.

Parents eating a healthy lunch at home with their children.

Encourage a Balanced Diet

As your child grows into a teenager, they tend to develop unhealthy eating habits. Promoting a balanced diet is essential, ensuring they consume meals rich in nutrients, fiber, and vitamins. 

Importance of a Balanced Diet

Educate them about the importance of a balanced diet and involve them in grocery shopping and meal prep. In addition, monitor their food intake, and limit their consumption of junk food and sugary drinks.

Healthy Snacks

Finally, remember to introduce them to healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables. With a few simple steps, you can help your teenager develop a healthy eating habit for life. Remember, every small effort counts and is worth the reward. So make sure to take the initiative today! Your teen’s future self will thank you for it.

Encourage Physical Activity

Encourage your child to indulge in physical activities like sports, running, cycling, or swimming. Regular exercise helps them maintain a healthy weight, builds strong bones, reduces stress levels, and improves their mental health. It also boosts their self-esteem and social skills, enhancing their overall well-being.

Other Physical Activities

Plenty of other activities can stimulate and challenge them physically if your child isn’t interested in team sports. Take them to the park for a game of tag, have a family Frisbee outing, or play hopscotch on the sidewalk. Offer physical activities you enjoy and ensure they become part of your family routine.

Choosing Activities

Consider your child’s interests and abilities when choosing which physical activities to pursue. Consider their age, health condition, and motor skills. Don’t force them to do something they don’t like or are incapable of doing. Also, ask for their suggestions – children are often more creative than people give them credit.

Take Care of Oral Health

Taking care of physical health is extremely important for teenagers. It helps them maintain their physical and mental well-being, which is crucial during their formative years. One aspect of physical health that often gets ignored is oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene prevents bad breath and tooth decay. Also, it helps prevent serious health problems such as gum disease and other oral infections.

Good Oral Hygiene

Teenagers must practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing their teeth twice daily, flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist for routine checkups. In addition to these basic habits, teenagers can take extra steps to improve their oral health, such as limiting sugary foods and drinks, avoiding tobacco products, and wearing a mouthguard during sports activities.

Fix Damaged Teeth

If the children have chipped or misshapen teeth, you can look for a reliable clinic offering a durable veneer treatment. Enhancing their damaged teeth can boost confidence, as they feel more attractive and self-assured.

Children skiing on the mountainside at a resort.

Monitor Their Mental Well-Being

Teenagers often undergo emotional turmoil, and it’s crucial to check their mental health. Encourage open communication, actively listen to them, and address their issues with empathy. If you notice persistent sadness, anxiety, or changes in appetite or sleep patterns, seek professional help immediately.

Wellness Check-Ins

Set up regular wellness check-ins to identify troubling signs early and ensure their mental health is in good shape. Additionally, foster an environment that promotes emotional well-being by providing support and reassurance.

Taking care of the health and fitness of older children is a crucial aspect of parenting. Encouraging your child to adopt healthy habits early on can positively impact their overall well-being in the long run. Following the tips mentioned in this blog post can help your child reach their full potential and lead a happy, healthy life. Remember, there is always time to start adopting healthy habits, so start today!

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