March 24, 2017

Looking for a kid’s activity?

Looking for an activity to do with the kids this summer? Introduce them to cooking! Here’s an easy kid-friendly recipe to get you started:

 

Healthy Rice Crispy Balls

Ingredients:

2 cups all natural puffed rice cereal
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened all natural peanut butter, nut butter or sunflower seed butter
2/3 cup pepitas

Directions:

Melt peanut butter and brown rice syrup in a pot on the stove- do not boil. In a bowl mix puffed rice and pepitas. Pour hot syrup over top and mix in. Form into balls and store in the fridge

Recipe by Shirley Plant- Nutrition Coach and Author of Finally Food I Can Eat
www.deliciousalternatives.com. Follow her on Twitter via @sherrecipes

Healthy Eating and Vitamins by Deborah Lowther

If You Eat Healthy, Does Your Family Need To Take a Multi Vitamin?

There is no question that the best source from which to get your vitamins and minerals is by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, grains, protein and omega 3 rich fish.  The fact is many families are on the go and busy and quite often the side of vegetables is not served at the drive thru and the only fruit you may get your kids to eat is a glass of orange juice.

Whether or not to take a multi vitamin, or any vitamin, depends on a number of factors.  If you eat a well balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, dairy, eggs, grains and meat and alternatives then it is likely you don’t need an additional source of vitamins. If you are lactose intolerant, your kids are picky eaters, there are food allergies in your family or you are eating on the run more nights than you are sitting at the kitchen table, then there may be health benefits to taking vitamins.

Key Vitamins
This list shows the key nutrients that should be a part of your families diet to maintain optimal health.  If you know you are not getting these vitamins on a regular basis, then looking for a multi vitamin that includes this alphabet on its ingredient list may be a good option for your family.

Vitamin A for eyes, skin and immune system found in mango, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and grapefruit.
Vitamin B for energy and creating red blood cells found in peas, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas and mango.
Vitamin C for growth and tissue repair and stronger immune system from oranges, red peppers, broccoli, grapefruit and strawberries.
Vitamin D for strong bones, teeth as well as nerves, muscle and immune systems found in eggs, dairy, chicken, beef and fortified juice and cereals.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant important to boost your immune system and fight viruses and is found in spinach, blackberries, kiwi and raspberries.
Omega 3s -  Protect against heart disease, reduces symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), dementia, joint pain and boosts immune system.  Found in fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon and in some fortified eggs and juice.
Fiber – in addition to preventing constipation it helps lower blood cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels and may also help prevent and treat a variety of diseases and conditions, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Good amounts of fibre is found in peas, apples, pears, grains, barely, and beans.

If you have healthy fruit and vegetable eaters but they don’t like fish, then perhaps just an Omega 3 supplement is what is right for your family.  Talk to your family doctor to determine if you or your kids need to take a multi vitamin.  They will review your typical weekly meal plan to determine what nutrients may be lacking and then look to increase those foods in your diet, or consider a supplement.

Remember, it’s the nutrients we need and not artificial colouring, flavours or sweeteners. Read the label carefully for the medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients and choose one that is specially formulated to meet your needs. 
Good nutrition for all ages starts with serving a wide variety of whole, fresh foods as much as possible. A good multivitamin acts like a back up plan and is a great way to enhance this balanced, healthy diet – not replace it.  Including a daily multivitamin alongside fruits and vegetables will help to ensure your family gets all of the vitamins they need to be healthy and active!

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs on dozens of websites about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  To read more articles and see her favorite recipes starring squash and spinach that she promises even your kids will love, visit her websites www.iron-kids.com and www.adultgummies.com or visit her on Twitter @KidsGummyMum or Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.

Make-Ahead Meal Tips by Deb Lowther

5 Quick Make-Ahead Meal Tips

Meal in a Muffin
So many great meals can be made entirely in a muffin tin! Meatloaf, quiche, lasagna, pizza and more, can be made ahead, individually frozen and then re-heated in time to head of the door!

Vegetable Soup
Soups are ideal for packing in the vegetables and being a quick healthy meals.  Add less liquid for a thicker soup that is easier to eat while at the arena or in the car.  Make soup ahead of time and freeze in individual containers for a quick option.

Crustless Quiche
Skip the crust and add in the secret filler of cottage cheese and cauliflower and you have a complete meal that freezes well.   This is one of my favorite recipes on this list of kids favorites that I make and freeze in slices. It’s easy to defrost and makes a filling meal pre-dance practice.

Fabulous Mac n Cheese
Every kids favorite can be transformed into a healthy meal that includes whole wheat, dairy, protein and vegetables!  Make your own sauce with flour and butter, adding milk until it thickens then add in grated cheese and pureed squash, cauliflower and zucchini!  Make extra sauce that you can freeze, so all you have to do mid-week is boil noodles and you are ready to go.

Veggie Red Sauce
Kids love pizza but plain crust and cheese doesn’t offer a ton of nutrients. Boost your sauce with pureed vegetables and add vitamins to any pizza melt on the run. Start with your jar of favorite sauce and add in your own pureed veggies then freeze in ice cube trays to have just the right amount ready for pizza melts on the go.

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  You can visit her websites to learn more www.iron-kids.com and www.adultgummies.com.

Food For Thought: 10 Super Foods! By Deborah Lowther

Food For Thought: Top 10 Super Foods for Better Learning

We know eating fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and whole grains are good for our health, but did you know they are also good for learning? 
Whether it is the antioxidants in berries, the fibre of apples, the phytochemicals in sweet potatoes, lycopene rich tomatoes, choline in eggs, or the unsaturated fats of an avocado, what you eat is important for healthy brain development, cognitive learning and memory.

Add in some of these Super Foods for a super school year and better learning.

Berries. Include berries such as vitamins and antioxidants, they ward off damage caused by free radicals and may improve the cognitive function of the brain, improving memory and motor skills.

Eggs. Just one egg contains an amazing amount of nutrition. With 6 grams of protein per egg and more than a dozen vitamins and minerals including riboflavin, B12 and folate, they are a rich super food.  Eggs are also an excellent source of choline, an important nutrient for brain development.

Dark Leafy Greens- Spinach and Kale. Greens such as spinach and kale pack an immune boosting punch with their vitamin A and C.   The vitamin B-12 and folate in spinach improves brain health and the maintenance of cognitive functioning, including memory.  Kale is rich in manganese, a trace mineral that helps synthesize fatty acids critical to healthy brain function.

Salmon, Tuna and Mackerel. These fatty fish are full of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 rich fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are important for brain development, heart health and reducing inflammation. Your brain is comprised of approximately 60% fat, and by including Omega 3 fatty fish such as salmon and tuna at dinner you are providing the essential fats your brain requires for optimal functioning.

Grape Juice from Concord Grapes. Grape juice may be a smarter beverage choice. Research shows that the polyphenols from concord grapes can improve the communication between brain cells.  The antioxidant rich grape juice improves short term memory and motor skills.

Whole Grains and Brown Rice. A simple switch to brown rice, whole wheat pasta’s and whole grain breads can increase brain health. Filled with vitamins and magnesium, important to cognitive health, whole grains contain B vitamins including folate and B12 that increase memory and regulate energy levels to keep kids alert in class.  Add in fibre rich oats and quinoa to get the benefits of more fibre and added protein in your casseroles, baking and morning hot cereal.

Beans. A nutrient-rich food, beans contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, iron and important B-Complex vitamins. Try adding beans to a wrap, soup, pasta sauce or chili. Bean dips are a great way to spice up raw veggies for an afterschool snack. 
 Puree chickpeas, lentils or white kidney beans with some garlic, lemon and extra virgin olive oil for a brain healthy dip for snacks.

Dark Chocolate. Warm up with hot chocolate to help your brain! Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than blueberries and natural cocoa rates higher than raspberries and blackberries for these key nutrients.  The antioxidants in chocolate protect brain cells from damaging free radicals and improve cognitive function.

Nuts- Almonds and Walnuts. Walnuts are the top nut for brain health with their high concentration of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid shown to improve cognitive performance.  Just a ¼ cup of walnuts provides almost 100% the recommended daily intake of DHA.  Almonds are high in Vitamin E, also shown to improve memory function and make a great mid day snack.

Olive Oil. Olive oil contains brain friendly monounsaturated fats that can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Extra Virgin Olive oil is also rich in potent antioxidants called polyphenols that prevent damage to cells in the brain from free radicals.

Eating whole foods will ensure your child has a nutrient dense, fibre rich diet that maintains consistent blood sugar levels and helps them stay focused and avoid the highs and lows from sugary processed foods. Incorporate antioxidant rich berries, brain boosting omega 3 fish, satisfying protein in eggs, beans and oats, and fibre and vitamin B rich grains to provide your young scholars with a great school year.

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  To read more articles you can visit her websites www.iron-kids.com and www.adultgummies.com or visit her on Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.

Kid-friendly Healthy Recipes by Deb Lowther

Encouraging kids to eat healthy is a challenge many parents face! With a little creativity, healthy eating is possible! Here are a few kid-friendly, healthy recipes to get you started:

Spinach Brownies
Nonstick cooking spray
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup carrots or cauliflower cooked & pureed
1/2 cup (or more) spinach steamed & pureed
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray & dust with extra cocoa powder. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or over a very low flame.
In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Whisk in egg whites. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting 

 

Healthy Apple Oatmeal Flax Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup oats
1 apple peeled and shredded
 
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, agave syrup, apple sauce, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. In a separate bowl combine whole wheat flour, flax, soda, cinnamon and oats. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and combine. Add in shredded apple and a handful of chocolate chips.  Drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet and pat down with the back of a spoon, bake 8-10 minutes. Cool completely and then freeze!

 

Whole Wheat, Flax, Carrot, Zucchini & Apple mini muffins
3/4c all purpose flour
3/4c whole wheat flour
1/2c oat bran cereal
1/4c flaxseed meal
1/2c brown sugar
2tsp baking soda
1tps baking powder
1/2tsp salt
2tsp cinnamon

3/4c milk
2 eggs beaten
3 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1c shredded carrots
1/2c shredded zucchini
2 peeled & shredded apples
 
Directions: Have kids mix together flours, flax, oat bran, sugar, soda, powder, salt & cinnamon in large bowl.  Shred and add in zucchini, apples and carrots.  Have kids crack eggs into a separate dish (pull out egg shell bits if you need to!) then add milk, vanilla and syrup.  Have kids add the wet to the dry ingredients and they can also fill mini muffin tins. (This might be messy, but use a small spoon and they will improve!) We then top ours with 3 (yes 3!) chocolate chips. Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes.

 

Cheddar Crust & Crumble
1 1/2 cups large flake rolled oats
3/4  cups whole wheat flour
1/4  cup flax
1/3  cup brown sugar
2tbsp agave syrup
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup shredded old cheddar

Filling
4 apples
3tbsp agave syrup
2tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Line 9 inch sugar metal cake pan with parchment paper, leaving 1 inch over. Set aside.

Directions: In a bowl, mix together oats, flour, flax, sugar and syrup.  With a fork stir in melted butter until mix clumps & is crumbly. Mix in cheese.  Press ALL but 1 cup evenly into prepared pan. Bake in centre of 350 degree oven until edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile peel core and slice apples 1/2 inch thick. In skillet bring apples, syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon to boil, adding up to 1/4 cup water if apples stick to pan.  Reduce heat and simmer, until apples are tender crisp, about 5 minutes.
Spread apples over base, sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into squares. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.
 

This article is written by Deb Lowther. Deb is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  To read more articles you can visit her websites www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com or visit her on Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.

 

Back to School with Less Stress by Juli Shulem

Teaching your child efficient and effective study habits allows for less stress, for all family members!

Students of all ages can improve their study habits for better scholastic success. Consistency creates habit. Here are some tips to increase the chances of your student in dealing better with homework, exams, and school stress:

Set up a regular routine for doing homework. When your child arrives home they are most likely in need of a break  and perhaps a snack, so let that be the first thing they do. However, this shouldn’t go on for longer than 15-20 minutes.

Establish a place/desk-space where they can do their work easily. Some children do better in the kitchen with things going on, while others prefer complete silence. Test different spots until the best one is determined, as their room may not be where they concentrate best.

Secure the tools they will need to do their work. Determine what kind of paper, writing tools, calculators, etc. are necessary. Additionally, help them become organized by having a consistent location for their completed homework to go inside their backpack immediately when completed. Doing so will make sure their assignments are returned to class on time.

Finish homework early. Encourage your child to get their homework done before dinner (when possible) so they can relax the rest of the evening before bedtime. Many children try to bargain for “gaming time” before they complete their work only to not have enough time to finish what is due. Teach them responsibility by doing the higher priority tasks first.

Use a timer to aid in sustaining focus for those who find that difficult. Set a timer for 30 minutes to work, ending with a short break before resuming once again. If your child does best powering through their work without a break – great! If that kind of sustained focus is difficult, or your child has AD/HD, then the timed-focus sessions will really help.

Teach your child to schedule exams and projects well in advance. If a student has a paper due in two weeks, starting it the night before is a recipe for failure  and stress. Show your child how to break a large assignment into small steps and to do step daily. Write these mini-steps on the calender and hold them to their commitment.

Giving praise and encouragement plus listening to your child’s concerns about their strengths and weaknesses is necessary as a parent. However, note: not everyone is good at everything. Your child may need a tutor or more time in a subject to understand it. Listen to them, then empower them to learn effective and efficient study habits.

Juli Shulem, CPC, is an ADHD Coach specializing in students with ADHD and related challenges. She can be reached at jshulem@gmail.com or (805) 964-2389.

 

 

Routine for Healthy Learning by Deb Lowther

It’s time to think about back to school, and while we immediately think of buying backpacks, new lunch bags and indoor runners, but it’s actually the perfect time to look at your back to school routines and make some healthy changes!!

Morning Routine
Before the first day of school, talk to your kids about what the morning routine will look like when everyone needs to get up and out the door without a mega melt down! Get all the kids involved in setting up the new schedule and deciding who will help with which tasks.

Create a small poster together that highlights what everyone is expected to do in the morning.  Review each year and add new responsibilities as the kids get bigger and can handle more tasks. Hang this poster near the front door, so everyone can see it and have the kids refer to it instead of asking you what they need to do next!

Sample Morning Routine List:
*Get dressed
*Brush hair
*Eat a healthy breakfast
*Take your vitamins
*Brush teeth
*Pack library books/homework
*Empty dishwasher

Snack Routine
Make homemade snacks. It takes less than 2 hours every 3 weeks to make a batch of healthy cookies, healthy muffins & spinach brownies. Bake with the kids, then store them in the freezer and on school mornings the kids can pop them into their snack container with their lunch. Teach them the benefits of homemade snacks and avoiding processed packaged snack foods, while improving their baking skills and having fun as a family in the kitchen!

Lunch Routine
Set a routine for making lunches and get the kids involved. Have a container for everything and teach the kids what goes in each container. Give them healthy options and let them choose some items that are part of their school lunch.

Sample Containers for Healthy Lunch:
*Sandwich
*Fruit
*Yogurt
*Cereal Snack (pretzels, shreddies, oat squares)
*Milk
*Water

Vitamin Routine
Add handing out vitamins to the morning school routine and give the kids a healthy start to their day of learning! Studies are proving the benefits of Omega 3s for brain and eye health, Calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones and teeth, and a good Multi that contains vitamins A, B, C, and E that promotes a strong immune system. Imagine sending your kids off to school each day with that kind of start!

When you begin preparing for back to school, don’t forget to schedule in a few routines to give your kids the healthiest school year possible!

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  You can visit her websites to learn more www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com

 

How to Keep Your Teen Active This Summer by Maggie Ayre

What will your family do this summer? Do you have time off or will your teen be amusing themselves?
When kids are young it can be easier to entertain them with family outings or activity days where they can learn new skills. But, what do you do with a teenager who could quite happily sit in front of the TV or computer for hours or even days on end?
 

Here are five top ways to ensure your teenager stays healthy and active this summer:

Sign them up for a “cool” activity. You can find holiday clubs where they’ll teach you everything from skateboarding to surfing to juggling to street dance. They’ll make new friends and learn a new skill at the same time.

 

Plan a family day out. Even the most independent teen enjoys a bit of attention from Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters. Find an activity you’ll all enjoy and give it your full attention. What about a trip to the beach, 10 pin bowling, swimming or ice-skating? There’s something whatever the weather.
 

Give your teen some independence. Encourage your teen to cook a special meal for the family. Help them plan a menu then leave the rest to them – walking to the shops, carrying home the groceries, table laying and decoration and of course the cooking. Remember to lavish them with praise and they’ll be more likely to do it again later in the holiday.
 

Speak to their friends parents and arrange a cycle ride and picnic. If you’ve bought the food and done the organising your teen is far less likely to back out. In fact, chances are they’ll enjoy it so much they’ll want to go again later in the holiday.
 

Set your teen some chores so that they can earn money for treats. Not only will they be active whilst they are doing the chores but they are also more likely to go out and meet friends if they have a little money in their pocket.

 

Maggie Ayre is the UKs leading Fitness Coach for Teen Girls. As well as one-to-one and small group nutrition and fitness work with teens she has developed the 3G Program designed to be run at schools as part of the PE curriculum. She also offers mentoring for PE departments on how to re-engage teen girls with PE and has recently published her third book; “Nutrition for Exam Success – A Parent’s Guide” which is now available as a Kindle and paperback at Amazon. www.maggieayre.com/maggies-books.html. For more information, contact Maggie via www.maggieayre.com or www.femalefitnessrevolution.com.
 

 

Toddlers to Teens: Nutrition Kids Need by Deb Lowther

Is there a difference between the nutritional needs of a toddler versus a teenager? Should you be changing the food you are buying or the meals you are making once your children get older? How do you know they are getting the vitamins their growing bodies need?

The fact is we all need variety in our diet, including fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and protein, so we can get the important vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, Omega 3s and calcium; the difference is how much we need at different stages in our life. As children grow their dietary requirements will change.

Fruits and Vegetables

According to Health Canada, toddlers need a healthy start with 4 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Growing children need to increase that to 5 servings. Tweens need 6 servings and teenagers need 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins A, B, C, E and K all of which help build strong bones, teeth, build immune systems, repair red blood cells, and helps their bodies absorb iron. Give children a variety of fruit options – a healthy shake in the morning with berries, a container of cubed melon and grapes in the afternoon, and fruit kebobs for dessert. Add vegetable fun into snack time by cutting them into shapes, offering with a dip and include vegetables in every dinner, as a side and added to soups and sauces by pureeing.

Grains

Grains Health Canada recommends starting toddlers with 3 servings a day of grains a day. Growing children need to increase that to 4 servings. Tweens need 6 servings and teenagers need 6 to 7 servings of grains every day. Grains provide a range of B vitamins, which are essential to help your body turn food into energy and forming healthy red blood cells as well as providing fiber to keep their digestive systems functioning properly. Start your children off with the healthiest grains possible; choose 100% whole wheat when you introduce noodles and bread to your babies, make your own healthy muffins with whole wheat flour, oats or quinoa for your toddlers, and teach your older children the benefits of choosing whole grain over enriched foods .

Milk and Alternatives

Toddlers and growing children need a healthy start with 2 servings of milk or milk alternatives a day while tweens and teenagers need 3 to 4 servings according to Health Canada. Milk provides much of our Vitamin D, which surprisingly, is not found in fruits and vegetables. It’s also a good source of B12, vitamins A, K and calcium. These nutrients work together to help your body build strong bones and teeth, encourage cell growth and increase your immunity. Choose yogurt, cheese, milk or soy milk that is lower in fat but still provides adequate amounts of calcium. Use milk products in place of water to thicken sauces or thin soups for added nutrients.

Meat and Alternatives
 

Health Canada guidelines recommend giving toddlers and growing children a healthy start with 1 serving a day of meat and alternatives. Tweens increase that to 1 to 2 servings and teenagers need 2 to 3 servings of meat and alternatives every day. Meat provides our bodies with protein and vitamins A, B, B12, D, K and Omega 3s, which are essentials to our bones, teeth, immune system, cell growth, regulating nervous system, strengthening cardio, vision, brain health and energy levels. Include many types of meat and alternatives in their diets, such a beans, tofu, lean meat, and ensure they are eating fish at least twice a week to get enough Omega 3s.

Children tend to go through stages of picky eating and may love broccoli one day and refuse to have it on their plate the next.  Providing a wide variety of healthy choices and meals throughout the week for your growing children is the best way to ensure they get the vitamins they need.   Then consider supplementing if they are not reaching the daily recommended intake for important vitamins, like vitamin D and Omega 3s, which can be difficult to get enough of in diet alone.

 

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  You can visit her websites to learn more www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com

Summer Family Fitness Ideas by Mollie Millington

Enjoy fitness with your entire family this summer, and enjoy the added bonus of improving your health. How is this possible? 

Set a good example for your kids. They are more likely to follow your example, rather than listen to your lecture. To set a healthy example means you need to be healthy! Join a tennis league, attend Jazzercise, or play on a community softball team. Although this may seem like one more activity to fit into your diary, tending to your own health and fitness simply has to become a priority. Exercise relieves stress, introduces you to new people, and makes you feel good when the endorphins start flowing. These benefits will affect your attitude at home and work in a positive way. 

Start a new family tradition of activity. Desingate a set time each week or month as family activity time. Take turns choosing what you’ll do. Consider going for a walk or bike ride every night after dinner. Or make Sundays the day you go exploring in the woods or along the lake. Enjoy the fresh air and use the time to catch up with everyone.  Regularly scheduling time with another family to get active will also make fitness fun for everyone!

Become involved with your child’s sport. If you’re already active in a sport together, make an effort to get off the sidelines and join in with your child or children more often. Practice together in the backyard or coach or manage their team. Purchasing tickets to see a professional game or local team provides a great opportunity to be active together. Helping your child learn more about the rules and see more competitive matches will help them improve as a player. 

Choosing to be fit can be difficult but it can also be fun when you do it as a family. Competition is motivating, whether it is for bragging rights, an ice cream cone, or a homemade trophy.  Winning and losing (graciously, of course) are also good moments to teach life lessons to your children. Being fit benefits everyone involved and creates memories that will last forever.

London-based personal trainer Mollie Millington is available for in-person and virtual training. She may be reached at www.ptmollie.com, as well as via @PTMollie on Twitter.