By: Cara Quigley
“I don’t have time to get in shape”. It’s the most common excuse among parents today. Modern moms and dads are calendar keeping, kid chauffeuring, supper cooking super heroes – but “too busy” to have time for themselves. Raising a family is like running a business. No one ever said you would have time to yourself. Let alone time to think. Or exercise. So how do you do it?
The key to being fit and having healthy, active kids is making the lifestyle a family affair. It’s important to set a healthy example for the little ones. A balanced diet and regular exercise will keep you healthy, happy and fit, and help you achieve role model status in the eyes of your children. It’s important for them to see Mom and Dad waking the walk. Promoting portion control and moderated amounts of exercise are beneficial; dieting and examples of poor body image are not. Incorporating elements of nutrition and exercise into daily family life will keep you and your kids feeling great. Try these fun ways to eat well and get active together.
1. Baking with Mom – the new, healthy way
Remember baking cookies with Mom? This is the same idea, minus all that sugar. Try baking, cooking or preparing nutritious snacks, meals or desserts. They’ll love decorating fruit pizza, blending smoothies or making homemade granola bars. Keep it healthy, but more importantly, have fun.
2. Walk the dog – together
Make it a habit to walk Fluffy around the same time every day. It’s an easy way to incorporate a walk into everyone’s day and make everyone feel good – including the furrier members of the family.
3. Try a new fitness program or sport together
Play basketball with your son. Give mother-daughter yoga a try. Go running after supper. Anything that gets you moving! Plus, you’ll have something you share and can enjoy together.
4. Buy yummy, good-for-you groceries
Let them each pick a fruit or veggie, and add their own healthy favorites to the grocery list. You can try alternating between sugary and healthy breakfast cereals. Or choose some cool, fun meals for the week like whole-wheat tacos, homemade whole grain pizza, chicken and make-your-own-salad, etc. It’s easy to be tempted at the grocery store when you don’t have a clear idea of what you really need. Everyone will benefit from this healthy and efficient new way of grocery shopping.
5. Eating well on the go
Store pre-cut, pre-washed berries and nuts ready for grabbing as snacks on the go. If you must order take-out, opt for salads, lean meats (not fatty burgers), milk or water, and fruits or yogurt, not cookies or ice cream. Sure, it’s okay to have your Mickey D’s every now and again. But don’t make it a habit to go before soccer practice.