How to Keep Kids Healthy and Active During School Shutdown

How to Keep Kids Healthy and Active During School Shutdown Click to Enlarge

(KNSI) - Parents whose kids are starting distance learning will need to learn a new routine until the schools open back up. Child health experts are recommending that routine also include movement, like the kids would get at recess or in gym class.

Sueling Schardin is the community impact director and registered dietitian with the American Heart Association of Minnesota. She says rather than a ton of screen time for TV or video games, technology can be useful in getting the kids to move.

"Teachers have been great about posting different activities that kids can do, so take advantage of those resources. And the dance community has been awesome, and they're posting a lot of free online classes on Instagram."

With movement should also come healthy eating habits, rather than kids climbing the cupboards for more snacks or meals they would consume if they were still at school.

Schardin says to keep one or two snacks within their reach and hide the main supply.

Keep fruits and vegetables within their reach at all times, Schardin adds, and if you can't get the fresh ones, try the canned version.

"Even if you don't have the lower-sodium canned vegetables, you can always drain the liquid and rinse the vegetables to get rid of some of that sodium."

Schardin says bags of frozen fruit work well, too.

As for keeping kids active, family walks and having them help with yard work are possibilities. For lower-income households, she stresses that local schools still are making free meals available. And if you don't have a yard or ample play space in your home, simple things like a family dance party will keep kids moving and even boost morale.

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