Tech tools to help kids make healthy choices
In today’s culture, instant gratification reigns supreme. Even when it comes to the fitness, nutrition and overriding health concerns of children, parents, grandparents, teachers and other youth caregivers continually seek tools and resources that can be implemented and utilized immediately. With this in mind, here are three online resources that can help promote positive lifestyle changes for children:
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a reliable indicator of body fat levels for most children and teens, and offers an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems. For children and teens, BMI is age- and gender-specific. A BMI calculator for children and teens ages 2-19 is freely available at the Centers for Disease Control website: www.cdc.gov. The Children's Energy (Calories) Needs Calculator developed by Baylor College of Medicine is another useful online tool that calculates how many calories a child needs each day, based on height, weight and physical activity level.
These apps (available at iTunes) will help motivate kids to be healthy:
Kids Making Healthy Choices is based on the award-winning children’s book “Making Healthy Choices—A Story to Inspire Fit, Weight-Wise Kids.” Children can access the story and fun activity sheets through the app’s eReader. Not just for obese/overweight children, the app promotes healthy living for all kids as well as tolerance among peers to lessen the incidence of bullying. Parents, caregivers, educators and pediatricians benefit from additional tools and information in the app, including discussion questions, recipes and topical link lists.
Healthy Eating, Healthy You features exclusive healthy recipes developed by chefs at MGM Resorts.
Nutrition and Healthy Eating provides fun science-based learning games for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Online games are a fun and easy way to engage kids while also teaching them health principles. Kidnetic (produced by Kraft Foods) is a great interactive website featuring a myriad of cool games, scavenger hunts, challenges and even a cool “Move Mixer” dance designer: www.kidnetic.com. The CDC’s BAM! Body and Mind website also offers online games that teach kids about the body and mind: www.cdc.gov/bam.
Kelli Calabrese is a fitness, nutrition and lifestyle coach and international speaker. Kelli has a heart for helping people realize their full physical potential and live their best lives.
Published: January 2015