A while back one of my Facebook followers asked a question regarding practical ways parents could implement healthy eating and physical activity habits into their children’s “busy school lifestyle.” I decided to bypass the quick answer and instead dig a little deeper in order to produce an article on the topic.

It’s well understood that children need access to healthy foods and more opportunities to be physically active every day in order to grow, learn, and develop. Healthy foods give children the energy they need on a daily basis as well as the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that help their bodies and minds to develop and mature.

Physical activity reduces the risk of obesity and chronic health problems during childhood (and adulthood). It also aids in healthy growth and development of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal (bones, joints, and muscles) systems.

Now, fitting healthy eating habits and physical activity into the lifestyles of children is much easier than you might think. However, it’s highly contingent on your general efforts as a parent.

Related Article: It’s Not Baby Fat: The Real Reasons Your Child is Gaining Weight

At the end of the day, when you serve as a good role model your children are more likely to follow your lead.

This can be done by simply keeping the junk food and fast food out of the house, cooking nutritious meals, and promoting daily physical activity among everyone in the household (indoor or outdoor housework, walking or jogging to the park, and leisure-time sports).

That being said, here are some simple tips for implementing both healthy eating habits and physical activity into your children’s lifestyles.