Eating the right kinds of food and being physically active are important factors in the health, growth and development of children and youth.
Young people who overeat, eat the wrong kinds of foods and spend a lot of time on non-physical activities like watching television and using the computer are at risk of becoming overweight and even obese. Doctors are also now seeing an increase in diseases and medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension in overweight children.
Healthy, active children become healthy adults. While all children and youth need physical activity for their health, growth and development, studies show that Canadian girls are less active than boys. It is important that girls build bones early in life to minimize the chance of osteoporosis later. Activities such as jogging, walking, dancing, or playing soccer and a healthy diet that includes calcium-rich food sources are particularly important for bone health.
Parents, coaches and teachers can all set good examples and motivate young people by promoting and eating healthy foods themselves, and engaging in physical activity with their families and classes.
This section will take you to information on food guide basics, how to choose the right foods for families and advice on maintaining healthy eating habits. It will also lead you to Canada’s physical activity guides for children and youth and to where you can find tips for families, caregivers, guardians and friends to help children become more physically active.