Monday, September 8, 2014

Start Them Out Young

Almost 6 months ago my dear friends had a new baby and shared this adorable picture with me.  Of course I immediately asked permission to share it...and then waited 6 months to do so.

Look at her...showing her tiny little guns on day 5.  I was so proud that she was already showing signs of healthy and active living!

Photo courtesy of J. McClosky - thank you for allowing me to share!

Starting kids on a path to healthy eating and activity is more crucial now than ever.  Here is a graphic I ran across with some startling information - it's not as cute as that first photo but it sure is an eye-opener.

So, what can we do to fight childhood obesity?

1.  Pack your child's lunch - and not a lunchable.  Toss in an organic PB & J on whole wheat bread and some apple slices or baby carrots.  Want to give them a treat?   How about a homemade oatmeal cookie?    Or these easy no-bake cookies I found on Pinterest last week - sugar-free doesn't always mean Splenda & Sucralose!

2.  Better yet - have them pack their own lunch and make it a game....who can get the most colors in their lunch today?  The loser has to pack their siblings lunch the next day!  Love a little fun competition before bedtime.

3.  Get moving!   If you are lucky enough to live in Arkansas, state parks abound and are trail and river rich - how about a hike or some kayaking?  There are so many ways to incorporate activity and fun into your family - and start a new Sunday Funday tradition.

4.  Plan dinner a week in advance.   Planning your meals is as important for your health as it is for your sanity.   Having a plan in place for dinner (hello slow cooker) and stop ordering pizza and going out - where you'll eat twice as many calories as if you cook at home.

5.  Stop using the excuse "Ah, they're just kids, they'll burn it off."  Because the reality is, they aren't! Only about 1/3 of all adolescents get the recommended daily activity - and teaching them young means better habits when they are older.  

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