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Healthy Living: Having healthy kids starts with physical activity and good nutrition

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 5:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - As a parent of a 5-year old, I can relate to kids not always wanting to eat their veggies and preferring a sugary drink over water. In this week’s Healthy Living, Diane Peck, a registered dietician with the Department of Health and Social Services’ physical activity and nutrition program, talks about why paying attention to our kid’s health now is important for their future.

“Healthy eating and being physically active are really important for children. They’re key to kids being healthy, ready to learn and also growing up at a healthy weight,” said Peck.

According to an Alaska obesity report by DHSS in 2017, 1 out of 3 Alaska children was overweight or obese. That’s where the “Play Every Day” campaign comes in. Reminders through PSAs and posters encouraging kids to be active, move their bodies and focus on nutrition are what parents can do to help their kids understand being healthy. What may seem like common sense to drink more water and plain white milk can sometimes get lost in the everyday hustle and bustle of life.

Peck said it takes a village to raise a child, but also a healthy one, and the more people that are involved, the better. Plus, she explained that getting up and moving doesn’t have to be complicated.

“It doesn’t have to be like formal exercise or really anything expensive. It can just be taking the dog for a walk together, or sledding or even just like turning on the music and dancing together, that’s the key doing it together. It’s really important for kids developing their bodies their physical bodies but it’s also really important for mental and emotional well-being, which you know this time during those transitions, it’s really important for kids,” she said.

A list of resources can be found by visiting the DHSS’ “Play Every Day” website. There is also information on there about how Alaska schools are doing their part to provide healthy options to kids. From installing water bottle filling stations to more daily physical education classes because when it comes to getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, Peck said every bite counts.

Have a health topic or idea? Email aaramburo@ktuu.com.

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