New research has found that encouraging youngsters to complete a mile of activity every day can help boost fitness levels, improve concentration and combat early signs of obesity. So with the knowledge that just a mile, or 15 minutes, a day can make a big difference, we’ve rounded up five other simple tips from the experts that can help boost your little one’s health.
- Give little tummies some TLC
Healthy gut, happy body. Our gut is often referred to as the body’s second brain as it is teaming with billions of bacteria that help influence immunity, mood, digestion and even brainpower. To support your little one’s gut health, incorporate plenty of oats into their diet. Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains, “unlike most other carbohydrates, oats reach the large intestine. When they get there they’re fermented by the friendly gut bacteria that live there and encourage their growth, acting as a prebiotic.” Try Nairn’s Fine Milled Oatcakes [RRP £1, Sainsbury’s] topped with banana and nut butter for a tasty prebiotic snack!
- Exercise their imagination
A key point to remember when it comes to motivating your kids is that they often prefer ‘activities’ over conventional exercise, especially if it involves their friends or other kids of similar age. There are sporting clubs and community centres throughout the UK that keep kids active and having fun afterschool and during weekends with exciting activities including rock climbing, horse riding and trampolining.
- Magnesium is magic
As little ones continue to grow and develop, magnesium is a key mineral to help support the development of strong and healthy teeth, muscles and bones as well as all round healthy development. “Think pumpkin seeds and almonds, leafy greens and oily fish. Or try a child friendly chewable supplement such as Natures Plus Animal Parade MagKids to help children get their daily does,” says Cassandra.
- Go colourful
If green veggies cause tears and tantrums, mix up the vegetables you have a dinnertime. Try spiralising, roasting and grating a range of colourful vegetables to make them more enticing for little ones. “Eating a range of colourful vegetables ensures you’re getting a whole range of essential nutrients and vitamins in your meal,” adds Dr. Marilyn Glenville, Nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.
- Try yoga
If you regularly do yoga at home why not get the kids involved, or both start it together? Yoga can be great for getting kids active, increasing flexibility as their muscles develop and preparing them for bed. Maija Kivelä, yoga instructor at holistic wellness boutique, Maître of Thyme explains: “Yoga works on strength, flexibility, balance, agility, endurance, core and overall strength. Yoga also calms the nervous system, reveals the body’s habits and brings you back into your body, into yourself.”