More and more schools are addressing the problem of childhood obesity with increased activity and better food choices, but here’s the problem. What happens when kids leave the structure of school for the Summer?
They gain weight according to a recent study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Gone are the days of our childhood, when we were sent out of the house in the morning to play in the neighborhood and returned for meals. We live in a different world — yet, our kids need to be active.
Here are some tips to keep your kids healthy this Summer:
Skip the soda. Kids need water, and lots of it. Soda, powdered drink mixes, and juices add calories your kids don’t need and have trouble burning off. If your kids don’t like water, try adding a splash of 100% juice or juice flavored ice cubes. If your kids are active outside on days warmer than 90 degrees you might consider giving them a sports drink — but they don’t need the added calories or sodium otherwise.
Structure when they eat. Eat at the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Limit snacking to once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Snacks should be small and include fresh fruits and vegetables when possible.
Limit TV time. One or two hours of television or computer/video game time per day is plenty.
Plan something active. Everyday make sure your kids are moving for about an hour. This can be split into two 30 minute sessions or three 15 minute sessions. Walking the dog, mowing the lawn, cleaning up around the house are all good ways the kids can help and be active at the same time. Don’t forget about fun games like tag or even playing in the sprinkler. Simply playing at the playground or shooting baskets can get them moving.
Keep out the junk. If the chips aren’t in the house, the kids won’t eat them. Fill your cupboards and fridge with healthy snack choices.
Of course, all of these tricks will help you Embrace Your Heart and Empower Your Body too! Have a healthy Summer!
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Eliz Greene is the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Health. Drawing on her experience surviving a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggling to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.