- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
Happy Halloween! Follow these exercise moves to blow away those cobwebs and banish your demons…
Share this workout with your friends and classmates for a fun Halloween workout!CREEPY CRAWLER – Good for your arms, stomach and shoulders
Begin in a table top position with your stomach engaged. Walk your body forward about 20 steps then walk back again. Repeat three times.
SCARED BLACK CAT
Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.
As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
Inhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees.
My scrummy pumpkin and seed soup recipe below is also ideal for fuelling your kiddie and it’s full of antioxidants too!
Hope you enjoy! I’ve had fun putting it together 🙂
So here’s the pumpkin soup recipe;
4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions , finely chopped
1kg pumpkins or squash (try kabocha), peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
142ml pot double cream
4 slices wholemeal seeded bread
handful pumpkin seed from a packet
1.Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook the onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured. Add the pumpkin or squash to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.
2.Pour the stock into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the squash is very soft. Pour the cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency you can now push the soup through a fine sieve into another pan. The soup can now be frozen for up to 2 months.
3.While the soup is cooking, slice the crusts from the bread, then cut the bread into small croutons. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp. Add the seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins more until they are toasted. These can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container. Reheat the soup if needed, taste for seasoning, then serve scattered with croutons and seeds and drizzled with more olive oil, if you want.
Yesterday at Health & Fitness Magazine we did a fantastic photoshoot with an urbanrebounder – also known as a mini trampoline!
It made me think that this would be a fantastic piece of equipment to incorporate into my Fitness Classes on Sunday mornings at Coombe Bank School in Sevenoaks. (new 5-week term starts on 13th November at 10:30)
Not only is it such great fun but according to a study by NASA, hopping on a mini-trampoline, also known as an urban rebounder, is 68% more oxygen efficient than other forms of exercise, which means that you can exercise quite vigorously on a trampoline without feeling out of breath, but still gain the same benefits you would from jogging on pavement.
The unstable surface of the bed also forces the body to engage those deep core muscles in your abs and lower back, while the increase in G-Force and pressure created by the bouncing almost triples your bodyweight when jumping, so your body has no other option, other than to respond to this and get stronger and fitter.
I tend to rebound every Wednesday morning before work. I stick on some of favourite music and bounce away for 30-40 minutes. It’s such fun that I forget I’m exercising and it sets me up so well for the day. I’m in such a good mood all day and had a good workout to boot! I LOVE IT!
I am currently talking to the manager at rebound-uk.com to see if we can get somerebounders on loan and to see if I can get myself on the next available course.
In the meantime jump around as much as you can – ask your children to be a kangaroo for an hour and bounce everywhere – its great exercise and will instantly put a smile on their faces. Now off you hop!!!
Was you active? I don’t know about you but I love the crisp autumn mornings – they are perfect for long walks and spotting wildlife! We went for a long walk on Sunday and saw two deer in the field amoung the frost – I wish I had my camera!
There are loads of activities you can do inside with your children too, especially if they feel the cold! Why not replicate movements we use in the gym such as squats by placing things on the floor and getting them to pick things up or shoulder presses by lifting toys in the air 20 times. You could also get some bean bags and see who can sit on the floor and then stand up while balancing the bag on their head? Yes you’ll drop them but isn’t that half the fun???
Ok, we are all guilty of watching the x-factor on a Saturday night (can you believe it was on for 2 1/2 hours on Saturday??!!) but did you know that every hour we spend watching TV shortens our lifespan by 21.8 minutes!!!
Researchers at the University of Queensland say that all that sitting down increases your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes – not good!
I’m not saying don’t watch TV because I know your kids would hate me but why don’t you make TV watching a bit more active by playing TV bingo?
Whatever the show, choose words that will prompt you to get up of the coach. Watching X-factor? Every time you hear ‘Fun’ or ‘sing’ or ‘rubbish’ get on your feet and do a jump.
Or why not do five sit ups every time someone looks at the floor after they have been told by Gary Barlow that they were rubbish?
Running 13.2 miles that’s what!
I applied for the Royal Parks Half Marathon (http://royalparkshalf.com/) back in May – you know one of those things you think sounds like a wicked idea at the time!
It was actually good fun – I did Run To The Beat just two weeks before so I knew my legs could handle it. The problem is I went out far too fast and blew up at mile 9! My legs just didn’t want to go any further. I didn’t give it though. I just walked 50 steps, and ran to the next mile mark, telling myself that every mile I could have a 5–step breather.
That’s the thing with exercise – everyone session and every race is different, you just have to listen to your body and go with it. Sometimes you just can’t push as you hard as you would like to.
I finished three minutes slower than Run To The Beat but felt I gave it everything. My next goal is to beat that 1 hour 40, in another half marathon every next year – goals are so important in life because they keep you focused and motivated.
Now its time for a hot bath and a chill on the sofa – my work today is done!
I can’t wait to see what talents your children have. As I said everyone person is different, which is why I love working with children and helping them make the most of themselves and give them confidence to run their first race, get on the stage for their school dance or be an important team member in that team game. Exercise is fun and should be a way of life. The fitter and healthier you are, the more you can take part in races like I have today. Its so great to sit down on a Sunday afternoon and feel that I have achevived something and had fun doing it! If you want something in life – there is never a good enough reason not to go and get it!
Great to meet you! I am in the process of setting up The Kid’s Fitness Academy. Want to hear what I do? Well stay in touch – its going to be fun!