5 Tips for Staying Active With Kids and Family

I just found this on Healthy.com and had to share!

Read, take note and have loads of fun this weekend with your amazing kids!

If you’ve got kids, of course you want to make sure they grow up fit and healthy. But you also know it’s hard to juggle work, family, and physical activity. Still, setting a healthy example is a good start. So if you’re looking for ways to get your kids involved, check out these tips;

Plan outdoor activities

Set aside one day a weekend to do something active as a family: swimming in the summer, sledding or hiking in the winter, or biking in the spring and fall. Taking along a picnic lunch—and splurging on some healthy snacks after a good workout—will help the day go by without a complaint.

Take classes together

Ask around at fitness clubs and community centers in your area about yoga or aerobics classes offered to parents and kids together. If your little one is too young to participate, look for classes that help you burn calories with your baby by incorporating them into your yoga moves or pushing them along duringstroller workouts. No kids? Check outpartner yoga or even doga—yup, yoga for you and your dog.

Redo your family room

Too often, family rooms are the center of laziness in a home: a comfy couch, a video-game console, a shelf full of DVDs, and nothing to encourage fitness or physical activity. There are ways to add in subtle reminders, however, without overhauling your entire room or dragging in a giant piece of workout equipment. Set a time limit on weekly television viewing and incorporate these Skinny House essentials to keep your whole family moving.

Make chores fun

Instead of relegating each member of the family to doing separate chores by themselves, turn chores into a game you can all do together. Race to see how fast you can get the house cleaned, and then try to beat your old time the next week. Play music while you’re doing laundry, and enlist the kids to sing and dance while helping to fold and put clothes away. Take the dog for walks together, and squeeze in some running, roller-skating, or jump rope while you’re at it.

Make over your meal plan

This isn’t necessarily a fitness tip, but it’s also worth mentioning: Families that eat healthier also tend to have other healthy habits, such as regular physical activity. If you want to slim down after having a baby or just want to eat better overall, get your entire family involved and you’re more likely to succeed. Take kids to the farmers market, let them pick their own fruits and vegetables, and involve them in the food preparation. They’re much more likely to enjoy their meals—and to clean their plates.

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Healthy Packed Lunches Tips for the New School Year

Step away from the usual fizzy drinks and boring sandwiches that you keep putting in your child’s packed lunch and take inspiration from the British Dietetic Association’s (BDA) infamous New School Year Resolution: Healthy Packed Lunches.

They have recently issued some quick and handy tips to create, not only healthy packed lunches, but packed lunches that are full of flavour and variety.

Rachel Cooke, British Dietetic Association Spokesperson and Bristol Healthy School Dietitian, said:

“What children eat at a young age has a massive impact on their eating habits for life, so it is essential we get the younger generation into choosing and enjoying healthy nutritious food.

“When putting together a packed lunch, it is so easy to go down the usual route of packets of salty savoury snacks crisps, bars of chocolate, fizzy drinks and the same old boring sandwich day after day.  Many adults wouldn’t accept eating the same things day in day out, so why should children?

“Packed lunches can be exciting and full of healthy options and variety.  They need to provide children with the energy
and sustenance they need to grow and develop healthily and help them to concentrate in the school class.”

The BDA Tips for a Healthy Packed Lunch:

Back to basics – bread, cereals and potatoes…
Try to keep a selection of breads in the freezer for sandwiches. Using a different type of bread each day can make
sandwiches more interesting. Try multigrain and seed rolls, bagels, baguettes, pitta breads, wraps…the list is endless! (Children have reported they like meat / cheese or fish etc and bread separate so it doesn’t go soggy)

You could also raid the fridge for leftovers – some foods taste just as good cold such as pizza or pasta. Cook extra pasta, couscous or rice. Mix it with cut-up vegetables, a few nuts flaked tuna or mackerel.

Filling the void – meat, fish and alternatives…
Try to include lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans or pulses in your 
lunchbox like
* Tuna with cucumber, green pepper, sweetcorn or tomato
* 
Low fat hummus and cucumber
* Egg and cress
* Cottage cheese and dried apricots
* 
Cooked chicken or turkey, tomatoes, and
lettuce
* 
Peanut butter and banana (my fav!)
* 
Grated cheese and tomato
* Oily fish, such as salmon sandwich or mackerel pasta salad

Remember, if you are using a spread choose a reduced fat one – or do without it completely if you are using a moist filling.

Vegging out or Feeling fruity..?
It’s important to eat 5 (or more) portions of fruit and vegetables every day. You won’t be stuck for choice when it comes to lunchtime:

* fresh fruit e.g. apple, grapes, banana, kiwi fruit (children have also said they like different fruits every day and not
always the traditional choices e.g.. wedge of  melon / peeled orange / kiwi and spoon / pot of strawberries. Why not
surprise your child with a different fruit / veg choice every day of the week?)
* 
dried fruits, e.g. raisins, apricots
* chopped raw vegetables e.g. carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes or a mixed salad
* tinned fruit in natural juice – pop in a small container or buy small tins with a ring pull

Dairy delights…
Try to include some dairy products in your lunchbox – important to keep your teeth healthy and your bones strong (remember to look at sugar levels – 5g equals about one teaspoon):
* low fat yogurt – plain or fruit flavoured
* low fat fromage frais
* small pot of rice pudding or custard
* 
Milk / fruit-based milkshakes

 Tasty treats…
Fancy something sweet in your lunch-box? There’s nothing wrong with this. Just try and make healthier choices when you can:
* currant bun, scone or fruit loaf,
* plain popcorn
* cereal bar (remember to look at sugar levels)
* 
fun sized bar of chocolate

Put in a drink…
Choose from:
* 
Plain water (still or sparkling)
* Plain milk (skimmed or semi-skimmed) or plain yoghurt combined with fruit e.g. smoothies, pureed fruit with plain yoghurt
* Pure fruit juice in small cartons or in a small bottle
* Hot drinks in the winter, e.g. soups

Keep cool…
Use a cool bag and pop in an ice-pack or freeze a carton of juice and place in with food to keep cool
* 
Keep in the fridge until morning if you make it the night before
* Don’t store your lunch next to a radiator or in the sun

Children’s Fitness Academy; Yummy Mummy’s – here’s how to work your abs at home!

What a great standing abdominal exercise you can do at home with just a belt? Easy! what you need to do is place the belt loosely around your waist, now engage your deepest abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in tight, hold this and now fasten your belt to your smaller waist, then as soon as you stop working your abdominals you will instantly know as your belt will feel tight, which will remind you to pull them straight back in!

A great time to do this is ironing, cooking or even drying your hair!

Children’s Fitness Academy; Habits of Healthy Families. Lose fat, get fit!

Every wonder how families stay healthy, fit and thin? Well I have some answers for you! Notepads at the ready!!

Don’t go hungry – To stay at a healthy weight, you have to eat, not starve yourself. If you don’t fuel up regularly, you’ll become insatiably hungry, causing the hunger hormone, ghrelin, to spike. Keep healthy snacks around the house like almonds, chopped fruit and credites and don’t be surprised to see your kids nibbling on them throughout the day.

Make breakfast and lunch part of your day – Without a healthy go-to option for each, you’re far more likely to make bad spur-of-the-moment grabs. Starts the day with a bowl of oats with flaxseed oil, a few walnuts, and some raisins  for sweetness and make some soup for lunch. You can even ask your children to help you. You chop the ingredients up and then they whizz it up in the blender. Fun!! Serve with a wedge of crusty wholemeal bread!

Exercise 20 minutes a day—at home –  You don’t have to go somewhere to exercise, and making your way to the gym is just too time consuming! 20 minutes at home is simple; skip in your back garden, and alternate with crunches and push-ups; or do 20 minutes of a workout video; there are loads to choose from!

Be the food decider in your house – I know this can be tough for parents, but the big decisions about what to eat must be made by you at the supermarket; If you bring crisps and chocolate home, your kids (and you) will naturally want to eat them. Keep healthy snacks on hand (like nuts and pretzels) and fruit and veggies washed and chopped in your fridge. Kids will eat healthy snacks when they get hungry enough!

Children’s Fitness Academy; Kids Ideal Christmas – the must have toys for Xmas

I’m sorry that this post doesn’t have much to do with Children’s Fitness but with Xmas just six weeks away I thought I would give you a list of the most popular toys to buy! Yes I could say – your kids need a ball, a skipping rope and a bike to keep them active – yes they do but hopefully most of them will have these already – right?!

So here goes – here is what you need to be buying them, curtesy from  the Toy Retailers Association (TRA), who carried out this research! Have fun shopping and remember to squeeze those glutes with every step as you trawl the shopping centre!

HAPPY SHOPPING! 

 

Girls Top 10 Toys for Christmas

Toy Manufacturer RRP

Barbie Puppy Water Park Mattel £24.99Disney Tangled Sing and Glow Rapunzel Mattel £29.99
Flufflings Vivid £18.99
FurReal Cookie Hasbro £74.99
Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Doll MGA £29.99
Milky the Bunny Flair £59.99
Monster High Lagoona’s Hydration Station Mattel £39.99
My First baby Annabel – Time to Sleep Zapf £29.99Sylvanian Families – Berry Grove School Flair £49.99
Zoobles Mama & Zoobling Nursery Playset Spinmaster £24.99
Boys Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
Bakugan Dragonoid Collossus ™ Spinmaster £39.99
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien – Ultimate Ultimatrix Bandai £19.99
Cars 2 Fully Secret Spy Attack Finn McMissile Mattel £30.99
Doctor Who Personalise your own Sonic Screwdriver Set Character £19.99Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Mattel £29.99
Nerf N-Strike Barricade RV-10 Blaster Hasbro £17.99
Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster Hasbro £44.99
Star Wars Ultimate Force Tech Lightsaber Assortment Hasbro £39.99
Toy Story Turbo Glow Buzz Lightyear Mattel £41.99
Transformers Ultimate Optimus Prime Hasbro £69.99

Pre-School Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
Dance Star Mickey Mattel £69.99Elefun Busy Ball Popper Hasbro £29.99
Fireman Sam Pontypandy – Multi Rescue Set Character £29.99
Imaginext Batcave Mattel £49.99
Kidizoom Twist Vtech £49.99
Lets Rock Elmo Hasbro £69.99
Octonauts Octopod Playset Mattel £34.99
Peppa’s World of Playsets Character £29.99
Thomas & Friends – Follow Me Thomas Mattel £44.99Toot-Toot Drivers Garage Vtech £39.99
Games Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
Angry Birds Mattel £19.99Bop-It! XT Hasbro £27.99
Connect 4 Launchers Hasbro £14.99
Dino Bite Drumond Park £19.99
Doggie Doo John Adams £22.99
Game Of Life: Adventures Edition Hasbro £21.99
Million Pound drop Drumond Park £24.99
Monopoly Electronic Banking Hasbro £26.99
Play-Doh Smashed Potatoes Hasbro £21.99
Where’s Moshi? Game Vivid £9.99

Creative Top 10 Toys for ChristmasToy Manufacturer RRP
Badge It! Bandai £19.99Bizu Style Studio Spinmaster £22.99
Charmies Magic Beader Flair £19.99
Crayola Story Studio – Disney Princess Vivid £15.99Fab Effex Variety Pack Spinmaster £19.99
Gelarti Designer Studio Flair £19.99
Harumika Bridal Bandai £39.99
Hello Kitty Cool Cardz Flair £19.99
Moon Sand Bake Shop Spinmaster £22.99
Play-Doh Twirl ‘n’ Top Pizza Playset Hasbro £17.99
Construction Top 10 Toys for Christmas
Toy Manufacturer RRP
City Harbour Lego £69.99
City Police Boat Lego £28.99
City Police Station Lego £71.99
Doctor Who Dalek factory Set Character £29.99
Geomag 66pc Colour set Flair £19.99Halo EVA’s Last Stand Mega Brands £19.99
Ninjago Fire Temple Lego £91.99
Real Construction Deluxe Workshop Jakks Pacific £29.99
Star Wars Millennium Falcon Lego £129.99
Top Agents Super Racer Playmobil £19.99

Cool & Hot Top 10 Toys for ChristmasToy Manufacturer RRP
Air Hogs Vectron Wave Spinmaster £24.99
Fijit Friends Mattel £54.99
GX Buggy Tomy £39.99
Hexbug Habitat Set Innovation First £26.99
InnoTab: The Learning App Tablet Vtech £79.99
LeapPad Explorer Leapfrog £79.99
Moshling Treehouse Vivid £18.99
Scalextric Velodrome Cycling Set Hornby £69.99
Spy Net Video Watch Jakks Pacific £49.99
Talking Moshi Monster Vivid £14.99

Kids fitness academy; Want your kids to eat well….how’s how you can do it!

  1. Lead by example – eat vegetables in front of your children and encourage them to follow your lead. My parents always did this and we have only just recently discovered that all my family aren’t fans of butter beans including my parents – but they used to eat them to encourage myself and my brother and sister to eat a mixture of vegetables.
  2. Find a role model – find out who your children are inspired by and refer to those heroes as being big fruit and vegetable eaters. For me I always remember the Green Giant and Popeye as eating Sweet corn and spinach and I wanted to grow up to be big and strong just like them
  3. Communicate with your child – explain why it’s important to eat your 5- a day to help them really understand how a balanced diet affects mood, body and performance. It’s not just vitamins and minerals that are important but it’s about looking after your whole body from the inside out. Vegetables are good cleansers and good fillers. They also help you control your energy levels which is good for the whole family to get the right highs and lows at the right time
  4. Encourage inquisitiveness – inspire your children to try new types of vegetables. Vegetables come in many different shapes, sizes and colours now and are much more interesting that when I was a child. I remember that as a child my mother would take us around the supermarket and ask us to identify the vegetables to keep us interested. It was considered a game but it was really very clever. I was always fascinated with the purple vegetables
  5. Experiment with taste and texture – fresh raw vegetables taste different to cooked vegetables. Just because they don’t like cooked vegetables doesn’t mean they won’t eat them raw
  6. Get children involved – you don’t have to start with cooking.  Why not  go back to the field and ‘pick your own’ to encourage them to cook and prepare the meals with you
  7. Be portion savvy – present vegetables in bite sized portions.  By putting 10 small bite sized pieces of vegetable on a child’s plate it is less daunting than a heap which could put them off
  8. Remember you are the adult – encourage choice but at the end of the day you are in charge and need to make sure your children eat the right mix of foods. Use the tactics to encourage them to eat well and live a long healthy life

How your children can maintain their energy levels throughout the day….

Kids are funny. They have loads of energy but just when you think they can’t go any more they crash and burn – the thing is you want them to have a consistent surge of energy not a rollercoaster of energy and slumps. To make this work you need to;

1. Always eat breakfast. Include a slow burning starchy food like oats or rye bread, and a source of protein such as yogurt or eggs.

2. Plan a mid-morning snack, such as 2 oatcakes with 2 tsp of hummus or nut butter or some fruit.

3. Don’t leave lunch too late; before 2pm is a good idea. Never leave more than 4 hours between meals or snacks to keep your energy levels up. This is easy when they are at school but remember this at weekends!

4. Include a wholegrain starchy food in their lunch such as wholegrain bread, brown rice, quinoa or couscous. These foods are high in B vitamins, needed to make energy.

5. Eat more foods containing magnesium, also needed to make energy. Magnesium is found in wholegrains (see above), nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli.

6. Plan a after school snack to prevent the common 4pm energy slump. A piece of fruit with  8-10 nuts is ideal. Or try a raw food bar, such as a Nak’d bar or 9 Bar.

7. Only have foods high in sugar, eg cakes, biscuits, chocolate, pastries, as an occasional treat. sugar gives a short term energy boost but may be damaging in excess (to your waistline too!).

9. Take regular exercise like my fitness classes!

10. Drink around 1.5 to 2 litres of water, about 6-8 glasses spread throughout the day. Being dehydrated may contribute to fatigue.