5 Tips for Raising Active Kids
1. Take a Break from Cartoons From Big Bird to Spongebob, little children love television. It isn't necessary to cut out TV time altogether, but it's important to have active playtime. Toddlers and preschoolers should not be in front of the TV more than an hour at a time except when sleeping.
2. Remember Your Inner Child Though it may be tempting to just sit and chat with the other parents in the park, getting up and playing with your child can be a fun time for you also. You'll set a great example for your child while getting some exercise yourself - and playing games with your child can be a great way to remember the fun of your own childhood!
3. Make Playtime Fun It's very important not to force your child to engage in physical activity. When you propose a game of tag or peek-a-boo, it should be fun, not because there's been too much sitting around but that fun seems like a normal part of the day, instead of punishment for too much TV, children should look forward to it - an attitude that is with them once they get old enough to make their own choices for playtime.
4. Babies Need Movement Too Try not to keep an infant confined to a baby seat for long periods. Even when very young, children move differently when stretched out on a blanket than when strapped into a baby seat.
5. Get Caregivers Involved If childcare is provided by a grandparent or other relative, make sure they have an interest in keeping the child active during the day. Though keeping an active child might be difficult for an older adult, even a slow activity such as a walk around the block, is better than placating them with television or a video - and it can be a great way to get the caregiver moving, too!
Tips from Frances Berg, childhood obesity expert and author