Simple methods to keep you Kids Healthy
Old fashioned methods?
This weekly topic interested me. So I thought I would share a few thoughts.
My kids are still young, so in a sense my hub reflects where I am in the cycle of life. I still have a say on what my kids eat and what they buy.
As a parent, you have a responsibility to your child.
I say that not to heap guilt on you but give you the freedom to be a parent. There are lots of people out there trying to tell you what to do.
You could argue that is what I am about to do but in actual fact after you read this you have a choice to ignore it or make any changes you deem appropriate.
The first thing I would say is when you child is young you can choose what you give them.
I will give you a couple of examples from my experience in order to illustrate what I am saying.
I was at a toddler group one day (several years ago now) when a parent asked me if my daughter like Quaver crisps. My response was "I don't know". The parent looked at me questioning my response and I had to explain that my daughter had never had crisps.
Really? said the mum. "Yes", I said. She does not need that in her diet just now and there is plenty of time for crisps. I had no objection to it really, it was just not something you need.
Later on people thought that it was odd that it was 5 before my daughter had a McDonalds or Burger King. She is 8 now and has probably only had a handful of them. The first time she had something like that she did not eat it, as compared to the food I cook her it was not that tasty.
At the age of 8, she still regards fizzy juice as a treat, rather than a daily occurrence. We don't always have it in the house. The result is that she really enjoys it when she gets it but she does not feel deprived.
We also don't buy in ready meals. We have quick stuff or pies etc but largely my husband or I take time to cook a meal. My kids love spaghetti and pasta. They tried the dry packet stuff before they tried tinned stuff. They will take it but my kids have never had kids meals. By that I mean that my kids have always had the same food as us (or a slight variation of it.) We always sit down at the table for a meal, so the kids have never had separate meals.
We also make restrictions on treats. Not too much in between meals and a treat after dinner if my kids eat well. The other thing about treats is don't just call chocolate a treat. My kids sometimes choose fruit as a treat. Not that I have instilled it that way at all. It is just when I offer a treat I give them options and say or fruit. The outcome is that when I ask what treat they want they sometimes choose fruit automatically.
My husband is a keen cyclist. As a result my kids both have bikes young and we sometimes go out on family cycle days. My kids love it. We have a child seat for my son and a tailgator for my daughter to get attached to my husbands bike if she tires. We can easily spend an afternoon doing 11 or so miles (or more.) I put a picnic in panniers or we stop off at a cafe. Great exercise, good quality time and after it they tend to eat well. It is also not expensive.
Both my kids get swimming lessons. In my view it is an essential life skill that could save your life. Now lessons can be expensive but again it can be a good family day out. We went to the local pool last weekend and it was under £10 for 4 of us to swim. Lots of fun was had splashing about, slides and flumes, not to mention quality family time.
Go to the Park
My kids are still at an age where they like swing parks. We have a small one a couple of minutes away but a large one 20 minutes away. Given that I live in Scotland this is a weather dependant option. It is not uncommon though that my kids cycle and I walk to the big park. In the summer we could spend the afternoon there quite happily.Now I have seen parents who do this and they do not interact with there kids. I tend to at least some of the time. It is surprising the workout you can get from pushing swings and playing chase! Then the walk or cycle home again.
These are just a simple start that I may add to. Before you know it your kids will be doing their own thing with there friends, so enjoy the time you have with them, interact with them and in doing so you are modelling good practice to them. As they get older they may kick up a fuss but then again they may have developed a passion for sport. Even if they are not the fastest or best - they have developed a healthy lifestyle.
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