Youth is said to be wasted on the young, but too many of our young have struggles with things that used to only impact adults.  It’s imperative that we show children how to lead healthy lifestyles.

First and foremost for childhood health is food!

Food colorings, preservatives and sugar, OH MY! Kids snacks are probably the worst nutrition offenders out there. The vibrant colors, the sugary ingredients, they all can spell disaster in the long run.

Did you know most countries ban the food dye labeled Red 40? Did you know that particular food dye contains lead and is banned in most other countries? When we really begin to scrutinize our children’s favorite snack label we will see excess sugar, sugar substitutes and all sorts of fillers and food dyes. Opting to “eat closer to the ground” will help instill better dietary choices later in life, ward off illness and create a happier demeanor. Fresh fruits and vegetables are imperative to good health, no matter the age, however, during those major years of growth it’s even more important.  Fruits and vegetables contain important vitamins and minerals that provide massive benefits!

Get creative with meals and snacks! Apples with natural peanut or almond butter is a great alternative to a granola bar.  Carrots and hummus can be a tasty substitute for chips and dip. Pinterest can be your best friend while looking for tasty and healthy meals and snacks.

The other factor that contributes to a child’s wellness is sleep. Creating solid sleep patterns and a normal schedule early in life will help them later on.  Children 5 years to 12 years old need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night for optimal mood and health. It’s best to eliminate distractions such as cell phones and television and  make the room as dark as possible. Our internal clocks know when it’s time to sleep and light of any kind will trigger the “wake” mode, thus not a quality sleep! By creating regular patterns of sleep early on, you are teaching them the value of rest for later in life.

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