Friday, February 22, 2013

Raising Healthy Kids

I have talked about my frustration with the junk food that is always pushed on my kid and lack of healthy living but when I saw this article yesterday I thought "finally my exact thoughts!" After last week being Valentine's and Easter next month it only continues. Yes I give my child treats but they are on our terms and what we feel is acceptable, why should it be up to others? I think the best part is when he talks about "Treats, of course" but why can't these treats be healthy too? Isn't it true that our kids are less healthy then our generation, so why are we not doing our best to raise them healthy? Yes I get it, it takes thought and work, but if we as parents don't do it, who will?

This got me thinking as I plan for my thesis, what can I do about this? Where does the problem start? Is it the parents, schools, kids? Okay I doubt the 3rd, I actually think the problem stems from societal norms and until we slowly change these then this will never improve. Can we teach kids healthy habits in hopes of these rubbing off on parents? That is my hope, what kind of education can I implement at a young age to improve the kids' (and their family's) health? I am in the process of working with her pre-school to implement a healthy living program with nutrition and exercise talks aimed at the kids.

I get one of two responses about my daughter and how she eats: 1) you have taught her well or 2) why do you deprive her of the food she deserves? The answer to that, no I don't deprive her she has treats but they are treats: not a bribe- M&Ms to take a nap, cookies to go shopping, or as a pre-dinner/lunch snack- bag of skittle after morning class or midway through a game- suckers at dance.


As parents we need to provide the examples, show our kids what healthy eating and exercise is and hope they enjoy it too. I am lucky that I have done the right thing and she loves it: asks for veggies and fruit, loves to run around and be active, asks to "play gym" last night I was being taught gymnastics! Luckily no injury resulted and I was surprised to realize I can still do a back bend!

Advice for healthy kids

  • Have healthy options available for everyone, I keep dried fruit and healthy granola bars for emergency snacks in the car
  • Let kids help in the kitchen
  • Talk about how food makes us healthy
  • Show kids the joy of exercise and get them involved - no I'm not talking competitive, but fun sports
  • Let kids get out and play!
  • Make it fun! Don't force exercise, remember the days when we played outside all day and had fun nit realizing we were actually getting exercise, let's bring that back!
  • Allow treats but as a treat- at holidays she picks out 1 or 2 things (with our help) and gets these, she loves dark chocolate, but could do without suckers.

How do you help keep your kids healthy? Do you feel like the minority in this?

While we are talking about healthy families, take a second to help us win a family fitness contest. Go here and like the photo. Easy, right?


Finally We have some winners!
13 in 2013 January Link Up and Giveaway

Congrats to everyone who completed Tack the Miles, the photos and stories were great...
Tackle the Miles
#629 - Angela @ Happy Fit Mama (Active Accessories On the Go Pouch)
#237 - Lauren @ The Unlikely Runners (Choice Organic Teas)
#473 - Shannon Wehby @ Flamingoz Girls Run (Fit Approach Pink Shoelaces)
#83 - Rebecca Pug @ Becca Run (Spright Cosmetics)
#586 Debbie Harris @ Healthy Running Mom (Spright Cosmetics)
#321 Danielle K @ Lean Green Mama (Spright Cosmetics)
#145 Nicole Vandesteeg @ For My Tummy (Spright Cosmetics)
#558 - Travel Spot (Flexline Hydration Pack)

January Giveaway
#168 - Andrea @ From Florida To North Dakota (Energy Bits)
#367 - Rachelle @ Livin the Sweat Life (Flexline Hydration Pack)
#37 - Tami Grand @ Journey to a Healthy Life (Fit Approach Pink Shoelaces)
#502 - Lynette Berger @ Solid Rock Fitness (Mediterranean Snacks)
#621 - Andrea Mahan (Active Accessories Hair Bands)

If you have won, contact Jill or I (marathonmom28@gmail.com) with prize won, name, email and address before Sunday 24th 8am

Don't forget about the Skirt Chaser 5K giveaway that ends this weekend.

30 comments:

  1. I agree Jen! We definitely need to set the healthy examples for our children. Great post! And congrats to all the winners!

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    1. Right, parents are the first kids see and they will learn from us.

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  2. I'm right there with you Jen. We are the best examples for our kids. My son started going to the gym with me when he was a baby, and now all he wants to do is workout, run, and stay active...aside from playing with his legos. Right now he is really into running and swimming, so I make sure he is having fun with these sports, and that they don't become a chore for him since he is still young.

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    1. Having fun is a huge part of keeping kids interested :)

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  3. Great post - I love the picture of your daughter with her bib and running skirt. :)

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  4. I also feel the same way but my kids are actually grandkids. Which makes it more difficult. I try to be as good of an example as possible but it's hard with my husband counter acting me with all his junk. He thinks that since he's the grandparent he should get to do what he wants and that granparents are for giving treats and spoiling in that way. I totally disagree. Luckily they like fruits and veggies as much as candy so they go home fairly balanced.

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    1. Grandparents can be wonderful examples too, good for you :)

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  5. A - the picture of her is TOO cute! I think it is awesome what you teach your child. As a teacher I see how a lack of nutrition and exercise is built into our children's minds now. They'd much rather sit at home and play games, get on FB or the such. They think it's crazy I run and do CrossFit, but I love showing them an active lifestyle in hopes maybe they will join. :)

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    1. Right, TV and video games have taken over kid's lives, ugh!

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  6. I get so annoyed and have to vent here since my in-laws read my blog:/ Every time they see my kids they hand them a bag of candy. It's like a bribe to make my kids like them or something. It drives me crazy!! On Valentine's, they gave them a big bag of disgusting candy/chocolate. Ugh! I ended up throwing it all away. They don't need any of it. Just adding it to my list of things not to do when I have grandkids:) Phew, thanks for letting me vent:) Heading off to "like" your cute photo!

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    1. No problem, glad I could give a place to vent. That is so frustrating on the ILs, mine do similar and always argue with me on how she deserves all the treats.

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  7. I do agree with you, and we are big on doing active things, but my kid has MAJOR eating issues. He eats some things I said I would never give him, but his diet is extremely limited to just a few foods, and just getting enough food into him is a challenge. So much so, his pediatrician refered him to feeding therapy along with his speech therapy. I will say the whole process has made me a little more sensitive to when I see kids eating things I disagree with. It never occured to me the kid may have issues, until I had to deal with it with my child. Just a different perspective to think about...

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    1. You are doing what is right for your kid and that is best. This is key and we all need to remember this :) I just get frustrated when people tell me I am not doing best for her or those who don't care about their kid's health.

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  8. Great post, Jen... I feel the same way. So much of it is just assumed that everyone is on board, and media/commercials aimed at kids don't help the situation either. I love that you're helping to implement healthier food and info for her preschool, so important!

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    1. Thanks Laura, I hope it can get figured out and I can follow through with the project.

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  9. She is sooo cute! I love seeing kids live an active lifestyle. Congrats to the winners!!

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  10. This is such an important subject! I agree with everything you said. I was working in a library the other day and this 12 year old kid came in with his grandma and it just broke my heart. He asked for weightloss books so I took him to a section. He found one then put it down when the title of another, 14 days to wieghtloss, then put that down and grabbed, 7 days to weightloss. He was so desperate want to lose it, but no idea how to get started. Not sure if the book he chose was correct for him, but I can only imagine what his self esteem is, and it breaks my heart! Parents need to take a much more active role on helping their kids stay healthy!

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    1. How frustrating! I think it is great that kid is taking initiative but sounds like he has no direction or help:(

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  11. Kids in the kitchen...I love that! Great post!

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    1. Often a mess but fun and educational :)

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  12. I started with my kids when they were very little. And since late elementary school they have had to pick one active extracurricular activity to join. Now they're teens and it's a lifestyle. We do a lot as a family...walks, go hiking, run/walk 5Ks.

    I could write a book on feeling like the minority. One of my daughter's friends took a pic of our pantry and showed it around at school. Her friends think she is deprived haha!

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    1. I love it, the picture is kind of funny and probably something one would do here too! Great idea to have them in 1 active activity, I always did that growing and got to try a lot of new things :)

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  13. Thank you for the encouragement and stopping by today:)

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  14. I am not a parent myself, but an adopted one to about 120 students I teach. I really make an effort to pack a healthy lunch every day. At teh beginning of the year the kids always ask me why I have all teh veggies or why I don't bring cookie or chips. They want to know if I am on a diet. i explain that I try to eat healthy, but that I do give myself treats sometimes. By the end of the year I notice that some of them are bringing healthier stuff in their lunch boxes and telling me about it, or begging to try my green beans or cherry tomatoes. You are right, it is all about being a positive role model, kids learn so much from what they see. I am also now a part of the run club and tennis team (though I cannot hit the ball!) with them.

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    1. You are in a great position to be a role model to those kids, hopefully some of your healthy habits can rub of on them and their families.

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  15. This is a big issue for parents. I have lightened up a bit now that my kids are 8 and 10. It's harder to control what they eat (because of visiting friends and "borrowing" treats at school) but I try to ensure that they eat healthy meals. They actually eat much healthier than I did as a kid. We were pretty unrestricted growing up. Lots of doughnuts! :)

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    1. I know it will get tougher as she grows up but hope that by providing her a good base she can learn to make the good choices most of the time and treat herself too :)

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