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Our Instruction Manual to Healthy Habits

Stanford University is a leader in academics, sports, and innovation and is located in one of the most dynamic areas of the country, but it is built on a strong tradition rooted in its community. Stanford Athletics recognizes the challenges facing youth today and the ambiguity around the path to success. While there is no one "right" way to become a champion, we promote several key components to being a successful, healthy individual. Those key components are simple: Eat, Sleep, and Play! Healthy habits prepare you for a happy, healthy life and here is our instruction manual for healthy habits within your family and community.

Healthy Eating Habits

Eating healthy is an essential component of living a healthy lifestyle. Good nutrition is the foundation for lifelong health and it is important that healthy eating habits start early. Unfortunately, children, especially in America, are constantly bombarded with fast food, soda, candy, and other unhealthy foods so it is crucial that parents take an active role in encouraging wholesome diets. Instilling healthy eating habits now can make a huge impact on your child's lifelong relationship with food.

Parents and caregivers play an important role in not only making healthy eating decisions for children but also teaching them to make those same healthy decisions on their own. In order to do this there is an important step: BE INFORMED!

Making your own food plans as a family can help encourage your children, as well as yourself, to eat healthier as a unit. And children will imitate what you do so it is important that you are also engaging in healthy eating habits. The family that eats healthy together lives healthy together! Choosemyplate.gov is an extremely useful website with tons of tip sheets that you can print and go over with your whole family. Get your own daily food plan!

The most essential part of eating healthy is making sure you are eating balanced meals. The keys to a healthy plate are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Check out these tips to help you ensure you are getting balanced, nutritious meals.

Healthy Sleeping Habits

Every living thing needs sleep; especially growing boys and girls. It is a vital need that is essential to a child's health and development. Sleep promotes alertness, memory, and performance (both mental and physical). It is important to help children develop good sleep habits early on and we are here to help you do just that!

Just like with eating habits it is important that parents and caregivers are knowledgeable about the correct sleeping habits for children. So once again let's GET INFORMED!

Here are some useful sleep tips for kids:

Being Active is a Very Healthy Habit!

Getting your child to be active everyday is one of the healthiest habits that you can instill in them. Obesity has drastically increased in American children and this can lead to diabetes and other chronic obesity-related health problems later on in life. Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle and it is important to cultivate this type of lifestyle early on. To get started check out what Blue Shield of California has to say about physical activity for children and teens.

Kids and Exercise: Exercise for kids does not have to be a chore. Kids are exercising when they have gym class at school or soccer games on the weekend, but they are also being physically active when they are running around at recess, riding a bike, or playing with the dog. There are many benefits of exercise and it is important that children are getting enough physical activity on a daily basis.

Motivating Kids to Be Active It is vital that you help make being active something that your child wants to do, not is forced to do. Finding activities that they like to do is the key to helping your child really make physical activity a part of their lifestyle.

Signing Your Kids Up for Sports: Sports are a great way to help your child to be more active as well as to help them gain other skills such as teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship.

Just like a food or sleep journal, keeping an activity journal is a great way to get kids thinking about physical activity as well as keeping them accountable for their healthy habits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. This is an easy way to help them and you keep track while teaching your children to take responsibility for their own healthy habits.

For some other useful resources click here


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