Safefood is urging parentsto make practical changes to everyday lifestyle habits such as portion sizes, drinks and screen time to make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of children.
What does research tell us?
It is important that mothers are supported to continue to breastfeed when they go back to work. The WHO, Department of Health and HSE recommend that children are exclusively breastfed for 6 months.
Being active is fun for all the family. Research shows that children whose parents are active are more than 5 times as likely to be active than those whose parents are not. Below are some ideas and links to websites that will give you info about how to get started. If you are still stuck for ideas after looking at the links below you can always visit sites like dayout.ie, fundays.ie.
Walking is a great way to build up to your daily activity target. Whether, it is round your local park, a forest trail or something more adventurous in the countryside. All you need is a good pair of shoes or runners and clothes that will keep you warm and dry.
http://www.walkireland.ie/ has lots of routes and information about walking throughout the country.
The Irish Heart Foundation has information about the Slí na Sláinte walks. These are routes around towns that are signposted and ideal if you want to get out of the office for 40 minutes at lunch time or have half an hour to spare in the evening. You can download the routes from the Irish Heart Foundation Website.
The Fáilte Ireland website www.discoverireland.ie/walking has over 70 routes all around the country. It is not just for tourists, it is a great source of information about other activities through out the country.
Coilte has over 10 forest parks and 150 recreation sites around Ireland. Most of the recreation sites have forest trails to suit all ages. The forest parks have a wide range of activities that will keep the whole family entertained. Take a picnic and you can easily find things to keep you busy for the whole day. http://www.coillteoutdoors.ie/
Swimming is a great way to get active particularly if it’s wet outside. You can find contact details for a swimming pool in your area by looking in the golden pages or on the golden pages website
Discover Ireland has around 20 cycling routes.
Ireland has some of the best beaches in Europe. If you live close to a beach, and many people do, they are a great place to spend an activity packed day. Soccer, hurling, paddling, building sandcastles and kite flying are fun for the whole family and you can take along a healthy picnic which means you can stay out for the whole day. Most city or county council websites will have information about beaches in your area. Irish Water Safety has a list of beaches that have are manned by life guards during the summer months.
There are parks in most towns around Ireland. They are great places for the whole family to get active whether it is kicking a ball, throwing a Frisbee or playing on of our active games.
You’d be surprised how just getting out into the fresh air encourages children to run around, many of the heritage sites and castles around the country have large open areas where the kids can burn off some energy. Many sites have walking trails so the whole family can get active. You can find out more about places of interest in your area on the Heritage Ireland website www.heritageireland.ie
Getting children involved in organised sport is a great way to set them on the road to being active right through to adult hood. Most sports have associations that can put you in contact with your local club. If you want to find out more about sport in your local area you can contact your Local Sports Partnership. Look out for sporting summer camps in July and August organised by sporting organisations such as the FAI and GAA.
You can find information about getting involved in a range of sports from the National Associations or governing bodies. Find links for a range of sporting organisations here
The Irish Sports council haslots of information about sport in Ireland.