Top tips to keep your kids healthy and active this summer.


Now that the weather is warming up, it’s a great time to ensure your kids put down their devices, unglue themselves from their screens … and get outside in the sunshine and fresh air. We’re so lucky in New Zealand that we have plenty of parks, beaches and green spaces, so now’s the time to make the most of them.

Remember though to always ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’ when outdoors. (Slip into a long sleeved shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on a pair of good quality sunglasses – especially on kids’ vulnerable skin and eyes).

Here are our top tips to get your kids healthy and active:

1. Lead by example: get active too.

Get active with your kids - go for a walk, go biking, hop on a scooter, or head to the park to kick a ball around, or throw a frisbee. If exercise is a big part of your every day life, you’re setting a great example for your kids. It’s also a good idea to eat your family meals together, and talk about the benefits of eating healthy foods.

2. Aim for an hour a day of exercise.

The Ministry of Health recommends 60 minutes of activity every day for children and adolescents…and for parents as well1. Just  60 minutes a day will help your child develop strong muscles, bones and joints, learn to move with balance and flexibility, develop a healthy heart and lungs, maintain a healthy weight and build their self-confidence and social skills.
Aim for a mix of activities: sports like swimming, cycling, kapa haka, soccer and touch rugby will raise their heart rate and get oxygen pumping round their bodies. Skipping, jumping, climbing and playing on a playground helps to build muscle and bone strength, while sports such as gym, ballet and hip hop dancing will keep your little ones flexible. Better still, join a sport with your child!

3. Eat, cook, teach. 

A great way to teach your family about healthy food is to get them involved in preparing it. Try to make meals from whole foods rather than opting for pre-prepared options if you can. We understand that busy lives need the convenience of pre-packed foods sometimes, but aim to replace these with simple meals more often and see if this improves the way you all feel – especially children who are more prone to the adverse effects of preservatives, food colourings and too much sugar. 

4. Limit your kids’ screen time.

Screens seem to have become an everyday part of life these days. As well as the TV, kids now have access to video games, tablets and even smart phones. Although computers or devices may be essential for homework assignments, and there is some high quality entertainment available, it’s a great idea to have some ‘screen free zones’ in the house, and to turn the TV off at meal times.

5. Keep those little brains exercised too.

Kids do need a balance between physical activity and mental activity, especially during school holidays. Why not create a summer reading list for your kids? Or ask your child’s teacher for some ideas - there are many great books at your local library

Encourage imaginative creativity through playtime with arts and crafts and family games, which are a great way to learn social skills and simple strategies (chess, anyone?). You could also check out what’s happening in your area through local council websites.

Heading outdoors? Be prepared for anything.

If you’re planning to spend time outdoors over the next few months, it pays to keep a ‘grab bag’ or first aid kit in your bag, car or pushchair. Pack it with essential items such as:

  • Band aids for little injuries.

  • Tissues and/or wipes to clean up any spills and smudges, and wipe little noses.
  • Stingose® to help relieve bites and stings from insects, plants and jellyfish or sea lice.
  • Pamol’s 100ml travel pack is handy on longer trips, to help relieve summer’s little aches and pains.
  • Sunscreen to top up protection if you are staying outdoors … and remember the sunhat and sunglasses too!
  • Insect repellent for those summer evenings.
  • Water bottles to keep hydrated.  It’s a great idea to freeze them before you go so the water stays cool for longer (also a handy trick in lunch boxes during the summer terms).
  • A Little & Sorted kit: these convenient little kits are jam-packed with all kinds of handy stuff to sort life’s everyday predicaments while you’re out and about. See
Reference: 1. Accessed on 20 October 2015. PAMOL® for the treatment of child pain and fever. Pamol® contains paracetamol 250mg/5mL. Always read the label and use as directed. Incorrect use can be harmful. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. ® Registered Trademark. Aspen Pharmacare C/- Healthcare Logistics, Auckland. TAPS PP7314-15OC.