Studies show kids need more active time. Before the invention of TV, computers, hand held games and texting, kids entertained themselves by playing, running, jumping and being outside. Now kids sit at school with only a couple 20 minute breaks, gym class a couple times a week, and if they are not in organized sports, hours after school for plenty of screen time. Couple this with the processed package food flying off store shelves and its no wonder today’s kids are weighing more.
Give kids a few essentials to encourage an active lifestyle.
Kids ready for school a little early? Toss a ball (& the kids!) outside and watch happens. Get the kids inexpensive hoola hoops and skipping rope, then remind them it’s there and help them come up with new games to play. Children love being active, but sometimes need a little nudge in that direction to get them started. Have an Activity Jar and when the kids are bored or need to switch gears, have them pull an activity from the jar and get them playing again.
Children look to their family members for role models, being active yourself encourages your child to follow. Tying up your running shoes and going for a jog with the kids is not only fun, but shows them that you are not afraid to try new things. Instead of watching the kids ride their bikes, get one yourself and ride to the park, the ice cream store or to explore your neighborhood. Encourage your kids to get involved in extra curricular events at school like track or cross country running if its offered. Then show up on meet day and cheer them on! Make being active a part of your families healthy lifestyle.
Encourage healthy eating by having healthy food choices at home. The processed packaged convenience foods that fill so many kids school lunches do not provide the nutrition kids need. Parents are the ones making the decisions at the grocery store and if you bring home the chocolate berry cereal and the soft cookies or the squishy fruit snacks you know kids will eat them. If instead, you filled the fridge with fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and put home made cookies, muffins and healthy fun foods like these spinach brownies in their lunches, you might be surprised to learn, the kids will eat them! Repeatedly exposing your kids to healthy food teaches them to try new things, to appreciate homemade, as well as making them feel healthier.
In a perfect world our diets would include a variety of all fruits and vegetables and there would be no need to supplement. New research continues to find however that we are not getting adequate amounts of certain vitamins from food alone. Ensuring your family gets enough of the essentials vitamins keeps their immune system strong, increases heart, brain and eye health, builds strong bones and teeth and keeps their energy level up. Look for brands like IronKids that are natural without added fillers, artificial dyes or flavour, approved by Health Canada and that will provide your family with the essentials Vitamins A,B,C,D,E, Calcium and Omega 3s.