With childhood obesity reaching epidemic levels across the globe, childrens' fitness has become a hot topic. Let's face it: the diet and exercise habits they're learning now will set them up for the rest of their lives, so we need to encourage our children to be fit, starting now. Today! Here are 7 ways to encourage children's fitness.
1. Set a Good Example
The very best way to encourage your children to be fit is to set a good example yourself! If mom's always eating fast food, drinking soda, and watching TV, then they will, too. Let them see you making healthy choices, and they'll learn those good habits from you, and they'll stick for life!
2. Limit Electronics Time
As a parent, it's your responsibility to set boundaries, and one boundary that will help encourage childrens' fitness is all about electronics. Limit TV and computer and video game time. Take away cell phones or at least ban them during certain times. This will encourage bored, electronics-deprived children to find something else to do, like exercise!
3. Teach Them about Food and Labels
It's amazing, and sad, how few children know anything about where the food they eat comes from, and how to tell “good” food from “bad” food. Take the time to teach them about food, and about reading labels. Raise a small garden at home. Take them to a farm. This will aid in improving your childrens' fitness by leaps and bounds.
4. Teach Them to Cook
Fast food and prepared foods are garbage. It's that simple. But the alternative is to prepare and cook meals at home, and who has time for that? You do. It's important! If you can make time to sit and watch The Bachelor or X-Factor, then you have time to make a healthy meal, and your kids can help.
5. Teach Them to Shop for Food
Along with teaching them where food comes from, how to read labels, and how to cook, it's also important to teach children how to shop for food. They'll love thumping melons and squeezing peaches, putting together menu plans, and more. The more involved they are in the food process, the more fit they will be!
6. Color Their Plates
This is a very simple way to encourage childrens' fitness: teach them how to color their plates. That means that the more colorful their meal is, the more nutritious it is. Imagine the rainbow of colors created by whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and you'll see what I mean.
7. Make It Fun!
Hey, childrens' fitness can be fun! Remember playing tag, riding bikes, running races, bouncing on the trampoline, picking berries, helping mom grocery shop and cook? These were all so much fub when we were small, and they still are! By making fitness fun, your children won't even realize they're learning or improving their chances for better health their whole lives long.
Childrens' fitness is important, so much so that it's worth the extra investment of time and effort, wouldn't you agree? I sure think so! Which of these tips do you think is the most important, and why? How do you encourage your children to be more fit? Please share!
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