Saturday, October 1, 2011

Helping your KID to stay FIT

There’s a lot going on about the importance of building health build blocks since we are kids…so as parents, you can do it now!

Start teaching your kids how to be fit, healthy and happy.
Being fit is another way of saying that your kid eats healthy nutritious food, is active and has a healthy body weight. When they are fit, they feel good, they can do better performance in class and they can play and enjoy their time with friends.

BE the role model
Being a role model sets an example for your kids. Kids mirror you; just because you are “Mommy!” Eat healthy yourself, choose snacks nutritiously and live by hearty habits. It’s hard to convince your kids to eat the vegetables in their plate if you didn’t or to drink milk or fresh juices if they see you sipping sodas. It’s even harder to integrate active life in them when they don’t see you move it to some music with them or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Little things you do could become their habits. If you complain about exercising and eating healthy food, your kids might relate those to negative feelings and refrain from doing them. Therefore, step up and be your kid’s role model! Start simply by eating fresh fruits, adding more vegetables on every meal and even parking your car far and walking home!

YOU are the supply controller

You decide which foods to buy & serve and which foods stay out. Kids could be really influential on their parents to trick them in buying less nutritious foods and parents eventually agree with them often just to finish the grocery shopping and head home. Well, no, adults are in charge when deciding which foods are regularly stocked at home and no, kids won’t go hungry. They eat what is available in the fridge. However, it’s important not to deprive your kids. If their snack is not all that nutritious, it would be ok to buy it once in a while. Note that in such cases, this “not all nutritious snack” should not be used as a reward nor a punishment. Getting a good grade should be rewarded indeed but not with food. This could build in them the idea that reward equals junk food and grow to reward themselves with that. So it’s a good idea to keep foods neutral, they are not used for reward neither for punishment. Moreover, from the foods you buy; let your kids choose what they want to eat from them. This will give them the freedom to choose what they want to eat. So rewarding them with a nice trip to the amusement center could be a good idea.

Quit the all Lebanese “Clean the plate” rule
We are all used to our grandmas and moms telling us that we are not leaving the table unless we finish the last grain of rice on that plate. Well it’s time to change that! Let kids eat slowly and let them stop eating when they feel full. This would help them listen to their bodies, notice and respond to feeling of fullness and know what it really is to be comfortable full. Sometimes, people eat too much because they don’t notice or learned to ignore “the feeling” that signals the need to stop eating. Know that the stomach needs 20 minutes to tell your brain that you are full so letting your kid choose how much they way to eat will teach them not to overeat.

Offer variety young
Variety in food is important. It offers your kids a wide spectrum of nutrient that their bodies need to healthfully grow up. But what is more important is to start them young. Food preferences are developed very early in life. So the more flavors you offer, the less the chance to have “picky” eaters in the future! Don’t force them to eat it of course, but offer few bites. You may need to serve foods more than once, on different occasions and in different forms for you child to get used to the taste but it’s sure worth it.

Offer the activity of creative cooking
Cook with your kids! Whether it’s squeezing oranges, grinding garlic or mixing the ingredients of that cake you are baking, it all counts.
  • To start with, let them plan what is to be cooked. 
  • They could choose what fruit they want with their cornflakes or what goes in the vegetable salad and even write the shopping list.
  • Introduce them to new foods and how they are manufactured.
  • Add some “nutrition hints” for your kids on why these foods are good for them.
  • Teach them food safety and sanitation rules like how to wash their hands and even fruits and vegetables.
  • Make the kitchen their “learning laboratory”! They could read the ingredients of the recipe, check expiration dates, measure amount of salt or water used and set the timer.
  • Encourage their creativity. Let them draw faces with food items or more, encourage them to create their own recipe.
When children cook with you, they can’t wait till they taste them since they are most likely to eat foods they have helped in preparing. This way you could integrate more healthy foods in their diet. Don’t forget to give them compliments after their achievement; it gives them a sense of accomplishment and self confidence
In addition to that, it could even be a good idea to take your kids grocery
shopping with you! You might as well get your kids help to prepare them a quick snack that could be readily available when they feel like it. For example, keeping shiny carrots at the reach of your kids would encourage them more to eat them. The most important thing is to keep it safe. Always supervise them, give them age appropriate tasks and watch for sharp utensils and appliances.

Benefits of family meal time

Family meal time should be sacred. Make it a priority to eat altogether at least 4 times per week. If you are not eating together now just increase that gradually one day at a time but make sure to start this tradition. And if you know you can’t make it together for dinner, well plan an afternoon snack together or yet, plan breakfast. Yes you can have breakfast together, but if you think there’s not enough time, you could always prepare you breakfast’s ingredient on the table a night ahead! Kids need to know that there is a specific place where the whole family eats, away from school problems, television, games, etc.
Kids who eat at home with their families tend to eat more veggies and fruits, more fibers and less junk food. Moreover, when you eat together, this will give you a chance to show your kids that role modeling we talked about. You could display your good eating habits such as choosing medium portions of food, eating a variety of vegetables, or stopping when you are feel full. It is also important to know that get-togethers over lunch or dinner improve communication between family members. You get make it a fun time to joke and catch up on what happened during the day.

Play Station, TV, PC … Limit their time
Screen time is time spent on TV, video games, DVDs… all what is seen through a screen. The more time you and your kids spend on such “sitting” activities, the less time spent on “active” activities and thus the higher the risk of becoming overweight. So, don’t be a couch potato! Show your kids that moving is part of your and their life and encourage them to stay active. So to start with, try to limit your kids’ screen time to maximum of 2 hours per day. By doing this, you would avoid mindless snacking on TV and in the same time ensure that they are spending at least half an hour per day playing basketball, biking, running, swinging, swimming…any physical activity they love. 



  1. LOVELY post ya patpoutaaa!

  2. hahaha celine that was seriously quick! Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing this valuable information :)