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Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

Keeping Kids Active when School is Out

Summer. Time for camp, catching bugs, water parks…and weight gain? A recent study suggests that for the youngest students, summer months may be worse than the school year when it comes to packing on extra pounds.

Charting Weight Changes
About 5,400 children from 310 schools were tracked during kindergarten, first grade and the summer in between. Their body mass index—a ratio of their weight to height—increased faster and at a more uneven rate during the summer.
Researchers think children may eat more during the summer, when the days are less structured. Also, physical education during the school year may help kids burn extra calories.

Warm-Weather Workouts
Just like adults, kids need to balance the calories they eat with the calories they burn to prevent extra pounds. That means healthy eating and an hour of physical activity on all or most days of the week.
Luckily, summer’s sunshine offers the chance to get out and get moving. Try these tips to stave off summer weight gain in your children:

  • Plan active vacations. Take a trip to the mountains and hike. Or, bike around your neighborhood. active
  • Limit screen time—including TV and video games—to two hours a day or less. Encourage your little ones to go outside and play. Hopscotch, swimming, tag and hide-and-go-seek all count as exercise.
  • If they are interested, sign your kids up for a summer sports league.
  • Walk with your family instead of driving to visit friends or run errands in the neighborhood.
  • To help strengthen your muscles, try working in the garden together.

Make Eating Right a Family Affair AKE

  • Focus on providing nutritious meals and snacks, and teaching them about healthy food choices. That means:
  • Cutting out snacks with little nutritional value, like potato chips.
  • Offering whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheese, yogurt, fruits and vegetables.
  • Limiting soda and sugary fruit drinks, and offering them skim milk or water instead.


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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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