Keeping Healthy Kids with Exercise Disguised as Playtime

Children enjoy play and find every chance possible to get physical. When too many hours are spent in front of computer and television, health suffers. With diabetes fast becoming an epidemic, it is sound advice to get moving.

Fun Exercise Ideas for Kids

The first step toward fun, physical action is to take the idea of work out of the equation. Banning the additional word “exercise” might also be beneficial. Focusing on a play is what will get and hold a child’s attention. Below of suggestions for getting started.

Allocate time – Just like anything else, physical fitness can be scheduled in. An early morning walk with the kids especially when summer might allow for a relaxed schedule is terrific. Grab a stopwatch and time younger kids as they run from one point to the next. Note their improvement with each passing day.

Replace the unhealthy – Shave just a half hour off television and computer and replace it with some form of exercise. Label it “fun time” and watch the kids join in enthusiastically. With younger children, a dance hour with hip-hop music is well received.

Weekly silliness – Once a week have a water balloon fight complete with chase or a hula contest. Encourage kids to come up with ideas and even incorporate games where a timer is used. A simple 10-point list can be a starting point, use the one provided and add on over time.

  • Helping kids lead a healthy and active lifestyleFrisbee/Frisbee Golf
  • Hide and Seek
  • Relay Races, sack races, timed racing
  • Skipping
  • Touch Football, flag football or soccer
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Skateboarding, rollerblading, scooter
  • Hiking/Camping
Safety Precautions and Kids’ Physical Activities

Many parents worry about injury with active kids, yet physical fitness is, in fact, preventive medicine. Heart health begins with kids exercising the muscle through aerobic activity and play is the remedy to the onslaught of many potential future maladies. Developing a love of hiking, camping or swimming at an early age encourages a fit, active adult. Obvious precautions should be taken when kids are involved in activities and noting the tips below can help.

  • Never swim alone
  • Hike with a buddy
  • Wear appropriate protective gear, especially helmets
  • Teach children how to use 911
  • Get CPR certified (this is a wonderful family undertaking for older kids)
  • Follow all safety rules
  • Walk/run against traffic but bike with the flow of traffic
  • After dark, don reflective attire
Parents Set the Example

Active kids find life easy when a parent is a leader. With many adults in dire need of more exercise, setting a good example for children should be paramount. Skip filling time with empty computer and television and get involved with the kids. Grab a basketball and shoot a few hoops if running is too strenuous or take a short walk. Parents and children can partner in a quest for a healthier lifestyle, and the outcome may well be fewer medical bills and better quality of life.

How to Encourage Your Kids to Eat Veggies

Kids usually have an aversion to vegetables. Whatever the reason is, it is said that the leading cause for this is the comfortability with the taste. Most kids are given sweets at an early age, so the problem is when they grow older, all they look for is a sweet taste. They say “No” to bitter and bland foods, flavors which comprise many of the vegetables available. If you are not used to these flavors, even as an adult, then for sure you will feel an aversion to them.

Preparing dinner is a good bonding for parents and childrenIf you have been looking for a way for your kids to start loving vegetables, where do you start?

Here are some tips to help your kids eat veggies:

1. Be a good role model

For one, if you do not eat vegetables in the first place, then do not expect your kids to start loving them, too. You, as a parent, must be a good role model for your kids. So, if all you eat for dinner is cornbread and ribs, and you only ever eat vegetables very rarely, then do not force your kids to eat vegetables. If you set a good example, then your children will learn from you.

Before you scold your kids for not eating vegetables, look at your eating habits first. Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? Are you setting a good standard for your kids? If you have some problems with your food choices and cravings, then correct these first. Once you’ve improved your eating habits, then you can start encouraging your kids to eat vegetables. Instead of bringing chips and chocolates when you are on a road trip, bring fruits and sliced up vegetables instead. Carrot sticks, celery sticks, apple slices, oranges, and bananas are healthy vegetable-based snack options for you and your family.

These may take a while to prepare compared to merely buying chips off the shelf, but do not let this ruin your motivation. The little time that you have to take to prepare these healthy snacks can go a long way for your family’s health. If you are too busy to visit the farmer’s market, meal kits (read: Sun Basket review) are a great alternative to have organic, farm-fresh food ready for cooking.

Making kids love eating vegetables should be gradual2. Never be mad at kids

The worst thing that you can do to kids who hate vegetables is to get mad at them for not eating enough of these. Not only will this instill fear in them, but they will grow to hate vegetables even more because of the bad feeling that you associate with this food group. So, never scold your kids for not eating vegetables, because doing so can instill lousy eating habits, like emotional eating, on them.

The best you can do is to encourage your kids to eat vegetables. Ask for their help when you prepare your meals, make your recipes fun by adding in ingredients that you know they will love, and share meals with them. Encourage this positive environment where they will grow to love eating healthy foods. If on some days they do not like to eat vegetables, try to know why this is so. It may be because they are sick, have no appetite to eat, or they’ve had a long day, and all they have been looking for is a bowl of chicken lollipops. Let them be kids and do not pull out the joy of being one.

It is easy to encourage your kids to eat veggies. All you need is patience and a positive outlook. Make it fun and do not get discouraged when it takes time for them to enjoy the flavors. Serve vegetables for your every meal, and make the recipes fun for everyone to enjoy.