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Most kids don't like healthy food, and they pick electronics over playing outside. Check out these tricks that'll help you kids stay healthy and active.
Kids will be kids, right?
Wrong! You have a say in what your kids do. This is especially true when it comes to what they eat. (Until they become teenagers of course)
3 out of 10 kids in the United States are overweight. That is 30% of the children in America.
There are several different ideas on how to teach your children to love spinach instead of ice cream and love playing outside rather than video games. If you have mastered these skills, then you are amazing!
If you haven't quite gotten there yet, here are nine tricks that will help keep your kids healthy and active.
1. Eat What You Want Them To Eat
This one may seem obvious, but your children love you and want to be just like you. They watch your every move and copy you. Setting an example by reaching for the banana instead of the bag of chips for a snack will teach them to do the same.
Now, the occasional bowl of ice-cream is totally fine and may even be recommended. Just make sure that this isn't set as an every night snack.
2. Avoid Food Rules
No dessert on weeknights, no sugar before noon, and only one slice of white bread a day are restrictions that can increase eating disorders like anorexia. Although it may seem like this is the best way to avoid sugar addictions, it may just postpone it until they are out of the house.
Talk about healthy foods when they are young instead. During family dinner, talk about the food you are eating and what it is doing to your bodies. Children tend to ask many questions, so increase their curiosity about foods while they are young. Talk to them about fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats.
3. Eliminate The Idea of Seconds
If you serve the food on their plates with the correct portions and leave the leftovers in the kitchen. They will likely only go up to get more if they really are still hungry. Most people are social eaters, and they grab an extra roll or two because everyone is still at the dinner table chatting.
By leaving the extra food in the kitchen, the children learn what an appropriate amount of food is for their meals.
4. Have Healthy Options on the Go
When your child is hungry, they will most likely eat whatever they can find in your purse, car, or in their pocket. One of the best ways to use this to your advantage is to keep fruit, nuts, carrots, or even clean granola bar with you.
Especially in the car when you pass the McDonalds iconic logo, your child will instantly ask you for food. Having an apple on you will instantly be able to satisfy the hunger.
Here are some great healthy options when you are on the go!
5. Let Your Children Pick Dinner
Mac and cheese cannot always be for dinner, but letting your children choose what to have for dinner can get them more excited about eating healthy. Asking for the main course, a side carb, and a vegetable will allow them to tell you what healthy options they like, and what creativity you also can explore.
For example, if your children love mac and cheese, consider a less fatty cheese or a whole grain noodle. This will please everyone knowing that the food being consumed is healthier than a boxed meal and it was chosen by those consuming it.
6. Family Fun Day
Weekends are great family days to get healthy and active. Use any opportunity you can to increase your child's physical activity by taking them outside for a quick walk to the park or an afternoon at the batting cages.
Do they often play any NBA or NFL games on their video gaming system? Use that your advantage and play a sport with them outside. You can say that it is to help their video gaming skills. That may bring a little more excitement to the idea.
Once the TV is unplugged, it doesn't take long to get your child's attention onto something else that can increase their physical activity.
7. Get Physical Activity Accomplished in Secret
How many of you read number 6 and thought "It is not that easy."
Probably more than half of you.
That's fine, don't plan it! Randomly surprise your kids by taking them on an adventure to the bowling alley. Kids like having their friends come over. When they are stuck behind the television screen, set up a playdate. Games like a frisbee, tag, and even a walk to the park can be accomplished a lot easier if your child's friend tags along.
8. Fun With Chores
This may seem like a stretch, but even vacuuming, sweeping, or cleaning their room at least gets them up and active. The founder of Yes You Can! Diet Plan shared that mopping the floors, sweeping, and vacuuming for an hour can burn up to 100 calories.
Washing dishes and scrubbing the bathroom can also burn calories, so get those kids up and moving!
9. Choose Water
There are 23 grams of sugar in the average cup of juice. That is more than an entire day's recommended amount for children before they are ten years old.
The occasional glass of orange juice isn't going to ruin a healthy and active lifestyle, but encouraging water is a much better alternative. With the recommended water consumption being closer to 4 or 5 cups for children, it is a good idea to start teaching them while they are young that water is a great way to replenish your thirst.
Children Need to be Healthy and Active
The truth is, children need some guidance when trying to be healthy and active. The fun choice is not always the right choice.
Brownies are always going to be there but that does not mean they need to be consumed every day nor do they need to be eliminated from a child's diet entirely. Be the example you wish to be and help your children maintain a healthy exercise and eating habit.
They will be so thankful you did.
For more tips on how to increase healthy habits in your family, check out some of our weight loss programs.