Healthy, active children and academic achievement

by .
Military Onesource
We all want our children to enjoy learning, make good grades and achieve success. Nutrition and physical activity are linked to academic achievement, so making sure your children are healthy and active will assist them in reaching their academic goals.
 
A healthy lifestyle can help improve a child’s:
- Attention span
- Thinking ability
- Memory
Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your child’s daily life. Reach out to Military OneSource online, or call 800-342-9647, to set up a specialty consultation for health and wellness coaching.
 
Nutrition
When children skip breakfast, bad things can happen. Hungry kids tend to have shorter attention spans and have difficulty with problem solving, math skills and memory recall, according to studies from the Journal of School Health.
Children need a nutritional breakfast of whole grains, fiber and protein. They also need snacks throughout the day that are high in protein and low in sugar, to boost their ability to listen, process and remember what they are learning. It’s important to give your kids healthy eating options at home, and to talk to them about making healthy food choices when they’re at school.
Visit these websites to get tips about healthy food choices:
- ChooseMyPlate.gov, for the Nutrition Education Series that you can post at home.
- Defense Commissary Agency, for recipes, cooking tips and more.
- Eating Healthy, for tips on making healthy choices.
 
Physical activity
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Physical activity can include school recess periods, hiking, playing sports, or walking to and from school. If none of those things appeal to you and your kids, try a having daily dance party at home.
Check out the following resources for ideas about how to keep your children physically active:
- Morale, Welfare and Recreation, to find local activities on your installation
- Installation youth centers, to locate a safe, kid-oriented environment
- Boys and Girls Club of America, Military Partnership, for community participation opportunities.
- Let’s Move, for strategies to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle.
 
Social and academic success can increase if you make healthy eating and physical activity part of your children’s daily life.

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