Healthy eating, sleep and physical activity are all important parts of living healthy lives. Parents play a major role in supporting healthy behaviours and providing children opportunities for healthy active living.
In the digital age of technology, it's important to know how screen time, such as cell phones, computers, tablets and televisions, can impact healthy living.
Routine vaccinations are an important step in keeping your child healthy.
Ministry of Health legislation, the Child Care Early Years Act, and the Immunization of School Pupils Act requires public health to:
You work hard to protect your child every day. Did you know that public heath works to protect your child in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease?
That’s why your child’s vaccination record is so important. A vaccination record is either an immunization record (yellow card) or a valid exemption form. In an outbreak, these records tell us how to protect children at risk and minimize the spread of disease.
You'll need to maintain an up-to-date vaccination record for your child.
As children grow older, they:
Make mealtimes enjoyable
Mealtimes are more than just eating. They are a time to get together with family, build strong and positive relationships and make lifelong memories.
Set regular meal and snack times
Set a regular time for meals and snacks every day and avoid frequent snacking throughout the day. Children like routine. Leaving space between eating allows your child to have an appetite for the next meal or snack. If they're always eating they may be full when you're expecting them to eat.
Set a good example by sitting down and eating with your child whenever possible.
Talk to a registered dietitian
For free and confidential information on nutrition and feeding (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.), call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
Sleep plays an important role in your child's health, both physically and mentally. Their bodies and brains need to sleep after a busy day of activities. To enhance your child's sleep, consider the following:
Children's bodies and minds are still growing at this age. With today's amount of technology, it's important to find a balance to best navigate through the digital world.
Screen time refers to any time spent with any screen, including computers, televisions, smartphones, tablets, video games and wearable technology. It's recommended that children have no more than two hours per day of recreational screen time. This doesn't include time spent working on homework or other educational activities.
Offer children various screen-less activities that help to develop a healthy body and mind like:
Move more and sit less. Physical activity is an important part of children’s growth and development to build their strength, heart health and bone density. Making sure your children are physically active can have great health benefits and reduce their risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, obesity, and heart disease.
When it comes to physical activity, Canada’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines suggests children get: