The Super Health Equation Every Parent Should Know for Their Child

It's all about one mission: the super health revolution.

The number one problem affecting today’s youth is physical inactivity. This problem is being compounded with the increased “tech time” spent by children. In today’s society, children are exposed to a greater medium of information and visuals that portray an array of negative behaviors. Video games that display violence is pervasive today, more than ever. Movies with sexual content implicitly or explicitly run rampant throughout the world.

Spending more time in front of a computer on a social networking website or “chatting with a friend” has become the norm for much of today’s youth as compared to engaging in some sort of physical activity in order to stay in shape.

I have developed an overall super health program for today’s youth that incorporates all aspects of one’s health including the physical, mental, and social well-being of a child. There are four parts to this “super health” equation:

SUPER HEALTH = Eat well + Exercise well + Sleep well + Think well


  • Stock your home with nutritious food on a regular basis. What is readily available is what is consumed. 
  • Provide some options for a child to be actively involved in selecting nutritious and delicious foods.
  • A child should eat breakfast each day. It is arguably the most important meal of the day!
  • Educate yourself on what is healthy eating. The general rule of thumb is to follow the updated food plate when planning meals.
  • A child should regularly consume 6-8 glasses of water a day (about half a gallon/day).


  • Limit the “tech time” and set a standard for daily physical activity.
  • Provide options for different “activity choices” versus calling it “exercise.”  If a child doesn’t like sports, there are a host of other heart-pumping healthy activities available.
  • Provide a child with chores to do around the house that increase activity levels.
  • Become involved with the child in the activity. Do a family activity together that gets everyone moving more.
  • If a child is struggling with his/her weight, be sure to encourage him/her, make the activity fun and non-competitive, and reinforce how much you love the child.


  • For a young child, read a short story to him/her each night. The reading is not only beneficial for one’s learning, but also builds a routine that allows the child to relax.
  • Set rules for bedtime and stick to them. Your child should go to bed the same time each night during school days. Consistency pays off in many ways for a child.
  • Refrain from having a child eat 2-3 hours before going to bed (especially caffeinated products).  This will interrupt and disturb sleep patterns.
  • Refrain from having a child engage in high-energy activities before going to bed. It does not “put the child to sleep” but oftentimes causes difficulty sleeping.
  • For a young child, refrain from him/her sleeping with many toys in the bed. Allow just one favorite toy or doll.  For an older child, reading a book can be pleasurable and elicit sleep. Most importantly, make sure the room is quiet, temperature-controlled, and the bed is of good quality.


  • Hug your child regularly and provide affection.
  • Monitor a child’s peer group and encourage a child to make good decisions.
  • Get a child involved in activities that bring forth leadership and responsibility.
  • Have restrictions on computer time, TV time, and use of cell phone. In today’s society, there are many issues that children encounter and are exposed to (both good and bad)  more than ever before.
  • Be a role model of character and encourage a child to be kind, caring, considerate, respectful, and trustworthy. Encourage a child to do one’s best in life, as opposed to having to be the best.

Author Byline: Dr. Douglas Haddad is an author, nutritionist, and middle school teacher in Connecticut who is a regular contributing writer to Parenting Special Needs magazine.  

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