Tips, Tools and Activities
Create a reward system for healthy eating and tasting new healthy foods. Making healthy eating more exciting for kids is a great way to ensure they taste a variety of foods. Create a chart with your child for one week with 5 rows labeled “Water”, “Fruit”, “Vegetable”, “Protein”, and “Whole Grains”. Make a column for each day of the week, and include a space for check marks or stickers next to each category for them to check off each time they eat something in that category. For example, if they eat oatmeal with berries, they can put a sticker in the “Fruit” and “Whole Grains” category for that day. Additionally, include a space for “bonus points” each time they try a new food.
Eating balanced meals made of colorful and wholesome food is absolutely necessary for our health. While making ourselves feel good and taking care of our own health, we are also setting a good example for our children. When you reduce the number of processed food from your home (i.e. food that has a very long ingredient list), it will also help your family reduce the intake of sodium and added sugar.
Sleep and health go hand-in-hand. Not getting enough sleep affects your focus and energy levels, which can get in the way of your health goals. Not having sleep routines in place can also have a huge impact on a child's school performance and mood. Start with a healthy bedtime routine by replacing electronics with books at least one hour before bedtime. When both you and your children are well rested, you will have healthier interactions and more energy to stay active and alert throughout your busy days.
Play Every Day
Football season is here! Take some time away from the hard work you do all day to play as a family by having a fun game of family football. You can change things up each day to find different activities your family enjoys playing together. Even just an extra hour of play spread out throughout the day helps to reduce a child's risk for obesity and other health concerns. A balance of work and play is great for the whole family, so grab any ball and start playing!
Q: How can we continue to stay active as a family with the daylight hours waning?
A: Don't let the cooler weather stop you. While your family continues on this wonderful journey of healthier habits together, it can be so much fun to be active outdoors. Fall weather is just right for being outside. Long walks or bike rides won't even feel like exercise during these cooler months! Fall is the perfect time to explore local parks or trails, or to head to your local pumpkin patch to pick out the best pumpkin together! Explore family movement opportunities in the morning before school and as individuals get some fresh air during the day.