Reach for your best (R4YB): Tips for parents

What is a healthy weight for my child?

Healthy children come in different shapes and sizes. A healthy weight for your child is the weight their body is naturally when they regularly enjoy a healthy lifestyle which includes eating well, moving well, sleeping well and feeling well. Weight is only one marker of health and a healthy weight is different for every child. There is no need to weigh your child at home. Your health care provider will weigh and measure your child to see if they are growing as they should be for their own special pattern.

How can I help my child reach for their best?

Parents and caregivers play an important role in raising healthy, happy children. Focus on health, well-being and fun instead of body weight or measurements. Make small changes that you feel you can continue. Think of changes you can make to behaviours and environments that will help children to eat well, get moving, get enough sleep, and feel good about themselves. This will increase your child’s resilience and help them reach for their best.

Tips to help children eat well, move well, sleep well and feel well.

Eat well

As a parent, you have the chance to shape your child’s eating habits for life. Kids learn through what they see and hear, so it’s important to role model healthy eating habits. This means being positive and flexible about food choices and offering nutritious foods to your child as much as possible. This will help your child enjoy eating, and will make sure that they get the nutrition they need.

Give regular meals and snacks each day

Help your child learn to enjoy eating a variety of foods

Teach your child to tune into their natural hunger and fullness cues

Learn how to help your toddler or preschooler eat well.

Learn how to help your child or adolescent eat well.

Move well

Being active every day will encourage healthy growth and development in your child. Be a role model. If they see you being physically active and having fun, they are more likely to be active and stay active too. Try making physical activity part of your family’s daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together. Make physical activity fun!

Live actively together

Take advantage of affordable physical activities

Limit sedentary time

Sleep well

Sleep can be described as “nutrition for the brain.” Sleep is important for kids to stay healthy, grow, learn, do well in school, and function at their best every day. It can be difficult for parents to know what to do when their child won’t go to sleep at night or has trouble falling asleep. These tips give some suggestions on how to put your child to bed, fall asleep, and get a good night’s sleep.

How to help your child get to sleep

How to help prevent problems at bedtime

Other helpful tips for a good night’s sleep

Feel well

Mental health is about how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us. It’s also about helping your child realize their potential, to cope with the normal stresses of life, and giving them the chance to be involved in their community. There are many parts of mental well-being that link to physical health. Your child can’t truly be healthy without it.

Help your child build healthy connections

Foster positive self-esteem

Reduce weight bias1 and discrimination2

[1] Weight bias is the negative attitudes, beliefs and judgments toward people who are affected by overweight or obesity. For example, people affected by excess weight or obesity are often thought of as less competent, lazy and undisciplined.

[2] Weight discrimination is more than negative attitudes. It’s the unfair or unequal actions or behaviours towards people with excess weight. These actions can range from accidental hurtful comments to avoiding, ignoring, rejecting, and intentional insulting remarks, cyber-bullying or physical attacks.

References:

Active for Life (2016). http://activeforlife.com/physical-literacy/

Best Start (2015). It Takes A Village: Taking Action for Healthy Children. Building Self-Esteem in Children. Retrieved from http://www.beststart.org/TakingAction/pluginfile.php/84/mod_scorm/content/4/story_content/external_files/Village_tip_sheet_Self_Esteem.pdf.

Best Start (2015). It Takes A Village: Taking Action for Healthy Children. Creating a Healthy Food Environment. Retrieved from http://www.beststart.org/TakingAction/.

Canadian Sleep Society (n.d.). Children Patient Information Brochure. Retrieved from https://css-scs.ca/resources/brochures/children.

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (2016). Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. Retrieved from http://www.csep.ca/en/guidelines/get-the-guidelines.

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (2011). Canada’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years (aged 0-4 years). Retrieved from http://www.csep.ca/en/guidelines/guidelines-for-other-age-groups.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (2014). Best practice guidelines for mental health promotion programs: Children (7-12) & youth (13-19). Retrieved from https://www.porticonetwork.ca/web/camh-hprc/resources/best-practice-guidelines-for-mental-health-promotion-programs.

Canadian Mental Health Association (n.d.). Mental Health for Life. Retrieved from https://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/mental-health-for-life/.

Canadian Sport for life (n.d.). Sport for Life Parents. https://canadiansportforlife.ca/parents.

Satter, E. (2008). Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family. http://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/.

Murphy, J., Pavkovic, M., Sawula, E., Vandervoort, S. (2015). Identifying areas of focus for mental health promotion in children and youth for Ontario public health. A locally driven collaborative project 2014-2015. Retrieved from https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/eRepository/MentalHealth_FinalReport_LDCP_2015.pdf.

National Eating Disorders Information Centre (n.d.). Beyond images: A self-esteem and body-image curriculum. Retrieved from http://beyondimages.ca/

National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). Healthy Sleep Tips. Retrieved from https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips

Physical Activity Resource Center (2016). http://parc.ophea.net/resources.

Public health agency of Canada (2012). Tips to Get Active. Retrieved from https://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pa-ap/05paap-eng.php.

Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity (n.d.). Ways for Parents to Combat Weight Bias. Retrieved from http://www.uconnruddcenter.org/files/Pdfs/Parents-WaystoCombatWeightBias.pdf.

Weiss, S. (2005). Canadian Sleep Society: Sleep in Children. Retrieved from https://css-scs.ca/files/resources/brochures/sleep_children.pdf.


This item was last modified on June 5, 2018