4 Tips To Keep Your Kids Healthy This Fall
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. It is easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about implementing changes that will help children grow healthy bodies. So, here are some tips to help you get your kids involved and motivated to make healthy changes. Just be forewarned, you may see positive changes in your body and energy level, too!
- Get the whole family involved in menu planning. It is so much easier to go the grocery store if you already have a list and a plan. While your family is eating dinner, ask everyone to choose one meal they would like to have that week. If the meal your kids suggest sounds unhealthy, find a way to increase its nutritional value by looking online for alternatives. For example, if your child suggests chicken nuggets, do an online search of “healthy chicken nugget recipe” and see what comes up. After you have a list of meals for the week (make sure you bookmark those recipe sites or print out the recipe), make your grocery list and stick to it. (see below for some healthy, kid friendly recipes to get you started).
- Print out a copy of MYPLATE. Go to www.choosemyplate.gov and play with the interactive tools with your kids. Print out a copy of the plate and hang it in the kitchen. Serve your meals family style and ask the kids to make their plate look like the one in the picture. If you have very large dinner plates, it may be helpful to use a salad size plate or paper plate.
- Let the kids help make dinner. I know…Yes, it will take longer. This may not work every night. But try to make this happen at least once a week. Even better, let them help prepare the meal they suggested. When kids help prepare food, they are more likely to eat it.
- Get active with the kids. Last but not least, maintaining a healthy body weight is about feeding your body healthy food AND keeping your body strong and fit. Playing with your kids will help keep everyone healthy. Going for family walks to hear about their day, a game of basketball at the local park or school, even a game of musical chairs while playing fun music can get your kids excited about fitness. Frame it as family time and not exercise to set them up for lifelong good habits.
Written by: Julie Kuehn RD,LD ACE CPT
Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer