“Fitness is a lifestyle”, something we hear about frequently these days. That and how much of a struggle it is for everyone to get to there. Now what if you learned to make healthy choices when you were a kid? Then would it seem like such a huge undertaking? Probably not. It is much easier to develop healthy habits early on in life. With obesity rates on the rise, I believe we need to take a preventative approach and educate our kids on how to be healthy.
The basic formula is simple; eat wholesome, unprocessed foods and stay active. That all sounds good but how do you implement this in your household? I know this is a challenge for many families; as it is a question I get this question from clients all the time. I’m here to make it less overwhelming for you.
Here few ideas to get you started.
- Let your kids decide what they eat. Bring them to the grocery store or better yet the farmer’s market and let them choose the fruits and vegetables they like. Give them a few options. Let them feel and smell the fruits so they learn how to pick what’s ripe.
- Get creative with food. It’s all about making it fun and palatable for kids. Consider blending fruits and veggies into a smoothie. Not only do they taste great, but kids really get into them and they make a great alternative to ice cream. Check out these kid friendly smoothie recipes. I particularly like them because they don’t call for white sugar (another healthy habit to teach your children).
- Build family exercise time into your schedule. Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. It doesn’t have to be something elaborate. It can be as simple as going for a walk after school or dinner. Try carving out time for a bike ride on the weekends. Whatever you decide on, I recommend making a schedule and sticking to it as much as possible. Dedicate the same hour every day to physical activity so that it becomes a habit for the entire family.
- Use community resources. The city’s Shape Up Somerville program is a good place to start with recommendations on activities to do within the community as well as healthy eating advice. They even have a software program to help you track it all. Stop and Shop also has a great “healthy ideas” portal on their website. They cover everything from nutrition to eating healthy on a budget and kid specific programs. Stop and Shop also hosts free local events to promote health and wellness for kids. They recently had a Healthy Kid’s Summit at Fenway Park (which I attended) and another at Gillette Stadium last December.
These are just a few of the many tips I have to offer about health and fitness. Most of them can be found on my personal blog, Be Fit With Kristen. I put up a Fit Tip every Friday morning as well as healthy recipe suggestions. Specifically my Healthy Dinner Series would be of interest to you. The series has 6 healthy weeknight meal suggestions specifically chosen for busy families such as yours; one of which was featured on Bliss.com (another great resource for all things healthy) as part of their recipe spotlight for July.
What are some of your ideas to keep kids active and healthy?