Children Holistic Health Initiative
For children with special health care needs, healthy eating may be more complicated and even more important. Also, being physically active may require more creativity for children with special needs or disabilities. Screen time is an important topic too as children may need to rely on a computer or television for part of their recreation due to the technical age we are in.
Skipping meals or not getting enough of the right foods may affect medical status. Our goal is to share ideas and strategies that have worked for other families with children and youth with health care needs so you can adapt them for use with your own children and families. Wellness is about promoting well-being and preventing illness and injury.
We want all children to live longer in good health, and we want to reduce the gap between the most and least healthy among them. But chronic diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and depression, are on the rise. More people are being diagnosed, and at younger ages. If this trend continues, more people will live, more years with a chronic disease than ever before. Some people are more at risk of developing a chronic disease than others. Rates of many chronic diseases are higher among people with lower income, education, and social status.
The good news is that the majority of chronic diseases and about 50 percent of cancers can be prevented through a combination of physical activity, smoking-free living and environments, healthy eating, and avoidance of high risk drinking. New research suggests that effective stress management may also play a role in reducing chronic disease. Evidence shows that experiences and environments in childhood and adolescence influence health, development, learning and behaviour throughout life, and the risk of chronic disease in adulthood.
We can take steps to reduce these influences and raise healthy, happy children who are successful in school, work, and life. To give every child the best start in life, we need to take into account the needs and circumstances of families that experience greater challenges and have fewer opportunities to improve their health - generally speaking, these are low income families, rural residents and First Nations people.
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