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EquaNImITYmag.COm
4 7
healthy kids
fitness & nutrition
By franci Cohen, Personal trainer, Certified nutritionist & Exercise Physiologist | image Credit: Google images
When It Comes To Fitness & Nutrition
Parents Can Help
Their Kids
Make Healthy And Fun Food Choices
T
he start of a new school year brings bittersweet
feelings for every parent. You can happily send
your child off to their next year of learning
and adventure but also worry if they will make the
right choices when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. It's
hard enough getting them to polish off their veggies
under your watchful eye, so how can we be sure they
will continue the right eating habits outside of the
home? In support of September's National Childhood
Obesity Awareness Month, Franci Cohen, personal
trainer, certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist,
shares her tips on keeping your kids on a healthy path
DO PlaY WITh YOuR FOOD
Be creative! Kids often choose unhealthy snacks because
they come in shiny bags with bright colors and pictures!
Every day after school, try to have an interesting fruit/veggie
combo ready and waiting. "When my oldest daughter
was 3 years old, I used to put Pomegranate seeds in her
princess tea cups, and we pretended they were jewels from
Cinderella's castle!" explains Franci. "It was her favorite
treat!" For older kids try using cookie cutters to cut fun
shapes out of melons and put them on skewers. Serve your
fruit kabobs with several dipping sauces such as yogurt or
peanut butter dips.
kNOW aBOuT vITamINS
Teach your children about the importance and functions
of various vitamins and minerals, and make themes in
your kitchen. For example, this week is "Vitamin C week"!
Encourage your children to eat as many healthy foods that
are high in Vitamin C, and reward them for identifying
foods high in the vitamin, and for sharing info on vitamin c
with other friends and family. This will excite your children
and may be the confidence boost they need to choose an
orange over an unhealthy snack.
uSE vISual REINFORCEmENT
Create a nutrition chart listing each child's name and place
on the refrigerator. Each day your children come home
from school ask them if they ate all the yummy, nutritious
snacks you packed in their lunch or if they took advantage
of a "swapportunity" at the cafeteria or with a classmate.
For example, you packed some orange slices but they
decided to have a banana instead, or they declined an extra
dessert offered by a friend. If they made a healthy swap for
the day, they receive a sticker on the chart. Look online
for stickers of fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods.
Once any child in the family gets 10 stickers on their chart,
they get rewarded by choosing their favorite dinner for
one night!
FITNESS TIPS FOR YOuNgSTERS
Give your children pedometers. They can be purchased
for as little as $5, and are so motivating! Your children
will love tracking how many steps they take each day,
and will develop a healthy competitive edge with each
other as well!
Skip the car ride, and walk your children to and from
school each day. It's a healthy way to start and end the
day, and will give you some quiet quality time to chat
about the day!
Encourage your children to join a sports league or try out
for the school gymnastics team. Sports and athletics can
be beneficial not only to the body and mind, but it can
boost a child's confidence and help it soar!
To learn more, visit www.francicohen.com