How to Create Fit Kids
Unfortunately statistics show that kids today are likely not as fit as their parents were at the same age.
We won't get into all the reasons that statement is true. Nor will we discuss the ramifications of this fact in this article.
Instead we will focus on how we turn this generation into a generation of Fit Kids.
Let’s Start With Diet
Diet plays an important role in overall fitness and, unfortunately, food choices and portion sizes are two major concerns. Throughout our site we will address diet and including content on making the best choices possible.
For today, however, we just want to make a few simple suggestions on making your child’s diet better so they can become a Fit Kid.
The first suggestion is to make sure they eat a variety of foods. It surprises no one when you say most kids don’t get enough fruits and vegetables. If you don’t start introducing those items when your child is very young it only gets much more difficult.
The second suggestion is portion control. Go to nearly any restaurant and look at the portions offered. In nearly every case there is enough food for more than one person. Take a peek at the total calories for the meal ordered. Portion control alone can dramatically reduce caloric intake.
Our third suggestion is to eliminate carbonated and sugar based drinks and replace those with water and milk. There is no better way to quench thirst than water. And you can’t beat either the reduction of calories, elimination of sugar or all of the artificial additives including sweeteners and coloring.
Finally our fourth suggestion is to make eating healthier foods more fun. It takes a little more time. But we’ve seen families prepare fruit salad in the shape of an animal. We’ve seen others use colorful foods to make entire meals look appealing. The bottom line is you want to make eating healthy food fun.
Limit Screen Time
When we talk about screen time we want you to think not only television but also cell phones, tablets, video games and computers. Time spent on those devices is sedentary. There is little to no physical activity. While there may be benefits from some screen time those most likely do not include exercise.
We know parents can’t completely eliminate screen time. But you can certainly limit it AND you can use it as a trade-off for time spent on physical activity.
For example you might tell your kids they can spend the same amount of time watching television as they do riding their bicycles. You can change the ratios as you see fit. But using screen time as a reward for physical exertion is a better use of electronics then simply allowing it to be unmanaged.
Find Activities Your Kids Love
The good news is there are so many activities that kids can be involved with. Yes some cost money but many cost little to nothing.
The challenge is to find one or more activities that your kid loves. Maybe they show strong interest in traditional sports like baseball or soccer. Maybe they prefer dance or gymnastics. Lots of kids are drawn to self-defense programs like karate, judo or jiu jitsu.
Ideally there are lots of things your kids like to do. Whether kicking a ball, running or swimming. Keep an eye out for what they seem naturally drawn to and try to make those activities available to them. Encourage participation.
The more physically active your child is the more fit they will become.
Get Your School to Switch Fundraisers
Too many schools use traditional fundraisers like selling cookie dough, candy or bake sales. When it comes to fitness those may be the worst possible message your school can send home. If you raise money it doesn’t matter whether you are promoting unhealthy products.
Not only are those fundraisers unhealthy, they are getting less and less profitable.
Get your school to switch to one of these two fundraisers instead:
Fit Kids Fitness Fundraiser: Our fundraiser allows schools and youth-based groups to focus solely on fitness. We introduce multiple routines to get your kids up and active including yoga, dance, flexibility and strength.
The kids spend a week focused on different ways to get and stay fit. They can also become Junior Fit Kids Instructors by sharing instructional videos at home with their families.
The fundraiser provides a crowd funding element where kids share their focus on fitness with friends and family who might support their new found interest in fitness. Nearly everyone would agree that this focus is a good thing and definitely worth supporting.
Unlike other fundraisers this one is definitely healthy, promotes great habits, eliminates selling and the need to handle cash.
Read-a-thon Reading Fundraiser: The program at Read-a-thon is very similar to Fit Kids. The main difference is that this fundraiser focuses on reading instead of fitness routines.
Obviously reading is not a physical activity. But when compared to so many school fundraising choices it is so much better and something our kids would actually benefit from.