This holiday season, instead of surrounding ourselves around food, although delicious, there are plenty of family friendly activities that you could do with your child that are both fun and healthy.
For example think of the games that you used to play as a kid. Tag, hide-and-go-seek, handball, dodge ball, red rover, and maybe capture the flag. All these activities have one thing in common, they create an opportunity to increase our heart rate and burn calories while enjoying a great cardio work out. We used to love playing these simple outdoor games as a child and now we have the opportunity to bond with our children enjoy these activities, all while becoming healthier and more active.
“I AM HUNGRY”
When your child comes home from school the first thing that always comes out of their mouth is “I AM HUNGRY”. I know it is so much simpler to pop something in the microwave, pull that bag of gummy fruit treats out of the pantry, and give them that high sugar fruit juice, but is that the best thing for your child? Are you really giving them the food that is going to promote good brain activity and increase their energy to want to do their homework? Veggies that promote good brain health are leafy greens, corn and avocados. Good fruit are coconuts, citrus, blue berries and cherries. These fruits and veggies are a great after school snack.
Make Food Fun!
Also, try to make food fun. You can give your children some sugar free whip cream with their fruit, or mix in some sugar free Jello, Allow them to think they are getting a tasty dessert when in reality you are providing them with the essential fatty acids that promote great brain health.
I know it’s hard to get kids to eat their veggies, but try spicing them up a little with things fat free ranch dressing, or try veggie based meat products such as veggie chicken nuggets. Although still not as good as the actual thing they’re still a way better alternative to their over processed high sodium counterpart. Studies show that when you give your children balanced meals and healthier snacks behavior will improve as well, including attentiveness in school and in other activities.
So go play tag with your children after school, give them healthy alternatives to those high sodium, overly processed foods, and show them that healthy foods and exercise can be good for you.