The Worst Health Habits for Kids

According to the April 2008 edition of NEWSWEEK, kid's fitness experts have identified their six worst health habits.

If you want to keep your kids healthy and happy you are supposed to avoid Eating in front of a television or a computer. Both habits keep the kid too distracted and they do not figure out when their stomach is full. This can lead to mindless overeating.

Playing too many videogames and watching too much television can make your kid too fat. Way too many kids play hours and hours of videogames instead of getting outdoors to exercise. The problem is getting so bad that The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under age 2 have no screen time at all. Kids older than two should watch no more than one to two hours of, and that kids older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of TV. Kids that watch too much television tend to eat twice as much food. Part of this is their exposure to ads for junk food. The answer is to substitute television-watching time with more exercise.

Kids choose foods that they find visually attractive so when introducing new foods that may be more nutritious then that pink cocooned encrusted snowball you need to make it more attractive. You also shouldn't force your kids to eating everything on their plate at once when introducing a nutritious food. There is something called the two bite rule where you give the child two bites and no more. This can make the child think about the food and request it next time.

You should also not keep too much junk in the cupboard. This is because older kids will raid the kitchen cupboards for food as soon as they come home from school. Fill the bottom drawers of your fridge with healthy foods like carrot sticks and keep the unhealthy stuff out of sight. You can also prepare cheese chunks; fruit slices or celery sticks and make them readily able for your child.

It is also a bad idea to get your kids used to prepackaged meals or frozen dinners. They are usually loaded with high levels of fat and sodium. The answer to this is to make a week's worth of lunches and freeze them all a head of time. This will reduce the busy mom temptation to send something unhealthy to school with your children.

Another thing to remember is that you are your child's main role model and they are going to eat in the same way you do. So if you are tearing open a bag of potato chips every time you watch television your kids are going to want to do the same.