Give Your Family a Health Makeover
Three Ways to Kick-Start Your Family Makeover
By Samantha Shelton
Be persistent. If they hate the sauteed spinach tonight, try again next week and then the week after that. Research shows that it can take up to 15 attempts at trying a new food for kids to decide whether they like it.
Keep 'em moving. Schedule plenty of activities -- touch football, tag, after-dinner walks -- even if your kids already play sports. Only 24 percent of 7- to 14-year-old soccer, softball, and baseball players get the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' recommended daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity during team practice, a new study at San Diego State University finds.
Switch up their games. Research shows that active-play video games are comparable to light physical activity, like walking. They also keep kids entertained in ways they're used to. Plus, your kids will have so much fun swinging a baseball bat with Nintendo's Wii Sports and rocking out to dance games, like Dance Central for Kinect for Xbox 360, you'll want to join them.Fit-Family Resources to Help You...
Get motivated. At ymca.net/healthy-family-home, print the Quick Start Kit, packed with fit tips and ideas for healthy food choices, and the Progress Tracker, which you can post on your fridge.
Organize your game plan. Go to letsmove.gov to download grocery-list and family-workout-calendar templates.
Sign up. Locate recreational sports leagues in your area through NFL Play 60 at nflrush.com/play60. Or start your own youth running initiative through Kids Run the Nation, a program of the Road Runners Club of America, at kidsrunthenation.org.
Eat better. Get gardening and food lessons to teach at home or pass on to your kids' school at edibleschoolyard.org.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2011.
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