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Get-Fit Guide for Kids

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

In a world where fast-food drive-through offer a quick dinner fix, children spend more time surfing the Internet than they do climbing trees and parents are often poor role models.But, by changing some family habits, parents can help their children get and stay fit. And by changing those patterns now, children will grow into healthier adults.

Changing Your Family's Choices
"The way to attack the problem depends on the family. If time is the issue, step back and re-evaluate. Trying to keep the kids active is good, but maybe knock off one or two activities and allow more time to plan a good meal and time for the kids to have random play.

Experts think about alternative as instead of having a bowl of candy bars out there, cut up carrots in bite-sized pieces and make some fun dip, or put out some apples. When kids are hungry they'll eat what's there. Such healthy alternatives are particularly important during after-school hours, a period when most kids consume the majority of their calories for the day.

And planning ahead is also important. "When you know you have a soccer game and you're not going to have time to fix dinner, make sure you fix a nutrient-dense breakfast and not the sugar-coated kind -- with a banana on top, a piece of whole-wheat toast and 100-percent fruit juice. Then when you run off to the game, it's just as easy to throw some boxes of raisins and fruit juice in the cooler as it is candy and sodas.

From age 2 and up, children, like adults, should eat according to the food pyramid, and from ages 2 to 5, they should slowly decrease their fat intake to less than 30 percent of their diet. Childhood is also the time for building bone density, so kids should get at least three to four servings of milk products a day -- such as a glass of low-fat milk or puddings and soups made with low-fat milk.

One of the areas in which children are the most lacking is in their fruit and vegetable consumption. All children ages 2 and up need at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The only difference between ages is the serving size. A good rule of thumb for children 4 and younger is to serve one tablespoon of a dish for each year of age.

Pleasing Picky Eaters
But your kids are picky, and they won't eat broccoli or carrots even when you try to prepare a healthy meal like most kids now a day. Serve it again and again. In fact, "it takes eight to 10 exposures to a food before the child will even start to like it. And if they still balk at the idea, the worst thing you can do is to get anxious and try to force or cajole them into eating it.

If you're making a big fuss about it, you're just creating a battle. You need to present it nonchalantly. You just have to experiment and have patience.

To help the process with younger children, make sure the foods aren't touching, that you offer bite-sized portions and foods they can eat with their fingers -- such as chicken strips or fish sticks.

Providing Parental Role Models
The children also learn basic tips, such as drinking eight glasses of water a day and putting the fork down between bites. According to expert it's their responsibility to have healthy foods in the house -- get rid of the chips and ice cream and replace them with no-fat chips, frozen yogurt and pitchers of water. Moreover it is necessary, parents and children to attend nutrition classes and to sign up for physical activities. It doesn't have to be sports, but something else they enjoy -- such as karate, dance or swimming lessons.

Just like adults, children should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days. To help make that happen, ask them to walk the dog, buy them fun and healthy gifts like a jump rope or pogo stick, and host birthday parties at the bowling alley or ice rink instead of the pizza parlor.

But the most important thing is for parents :

"The whole family has to be involved, eating healthy and exercising. You can't just point out the child that's overweight and make him change his habits -- it just won't work.

Smooth, Sweet Snacks for Healthier Kids

To make the smoothies, using the recipes listed below, put the juice in the blender first, then the fruit. If you are using frozen fruit, no ice is needed. If you are using fresh ingredients, add about 3/4 cup of ice. Start the blender on low and move up to puree. Run the blender for two to three minutes to complete.

Tropical Frost

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup pineapple

Peach Blossom

  • ½ cup peaches
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 frozen banana

Blueberry Lust

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 fresh banana
  • ½ cup pineapple juice

Strawberry Rush

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup apple juice

Mango Madness

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 mangoes, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • apple juice to desired smoothness and thickness


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