Research is showing that parents who are committed to their own healthy, active lifestyle raise healthy, active kids. Children learn by example and are always watching! Growing up in a family that was always active, I became an adult that has stayed active running and biking. I often join my husband at the gym and together we are passing on the importance of being active to our three children.
Our family participates in multiple sports together; swimming in our pool, biking to the park and for charity, and running 5km family runs in the summer, skating and skiing every weekend in the winter. Being active is an integral part of our family lifestyle.
How to Raise Healthy Active Kids
Commitment to Staying Active
It takes commitment on the part of the parents to stay active and fit in a workout in an already busy schedule. It takes effort to teach kids to ride bikes, play hockey, swim, do gymnastics, play tennis. It takes planning to make time for the kids to play or practice, to drive them, to organize games, to get outdoors with them and have active play dates.
It also takes parents modeling an active lifestyle. Parents need their own time to exercise and to plan active family time, not just family time. Go for a skate, a bike ride, a jog, a hike as a family. Be active yourself. Active parents have a better chance of raising active kids and active families lead to healthy families.
Commitment to Healthy Foods
It takes a commitment to eating healthy ourselves and effort to make our kids healthy snacks. Starting with stocking the fridge with healthy fruits and vegetables and passing up the convenient processed foods at the grocery store. Make your menu full of healthy protein, whole grains, fresh fruit, crisp vegetables and limit sugary snacks and soda’s. The kids are watching!
Today, children are going to school with lunches made up of prepackaged convenience foods. Too often their nutrition from 8am until 3pm includes of a cello bag of chips, a plastic tube of yogurt, a packaged soft cookies, a sugary granola bar, wrapped tray of meat, a ‘fruit’ rolled up, crackers and a can of soda or juice ‘beverage’.
As parents it takes our commitment to not buy so many packaged foods and to take the time every couple of weeks to make healthy snacks that can be stored in the freezer and popped in lunch boxes on school mornings.
We have the opportunity everyday to teach their children about healthy food choices and healthy activity choices through their own choices. Show your kids that exercise, staying active, eating fruits, vegetables and homemade foods is a commitment to a healthy lifestyle that you and your family is willing to make.
As parents, we certainly do influence what our children eat and how they stay active when they are young. Are you raising healthy active kids?
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