Straight Talk with Inna - Healthy Kids
Updated: Jan 21
“How do I get my child to lose weight, be more active, and eat better?”
Learning how to better educate our children in fitness, health and nutrition is a very big topic, let's discuss some of the basics.
The best way to get your kids to be active is to set the example yourself. If kids grow up in a household where one or both parents are exercising as part of their daily routine, then the kids are more likely to do it themselves. Remember, you can't really get kids to do something they don't want to do because in the end, they're going to win. You want them to be happy and to really love what they do, whether it's dance, boot camp, outdoor activities or sports. The goal is to create a home environment where everybody is engaged in physical fitness, as this encourages children to accept it as part of normal life.
When it's warm outside, take your kids with you for a bike ride or long walk. If you want to increase the intensity of your walk, wear a backpack for more resistance. This can be a little bit trickier during the winter cold, which makes it the best time to join a gym with your child. Many of the programs at Woodmere Fitness Club allow you to workout with your children. Remember, if they love what they do, they're more likely to stick with it. The goal is really never to force them.
Children learn by watching their parents model appropriate behavior. If you set the example by engaging in an exercise you love and can be consistent with, it's more likely that your kids will too. This concept also applies to nutrition and getting kids to eat healthier. If your fridge is full of nutritious foods because you enjoy eating healthy, your kids are probably going to grab what’s right in front of them. I don't recommend that you take away all the fun food from kids because we don't want them to be unhappy and socially, they’ll want to have similar snacks to their peers. Most importantly, the first thing you should do is forget the negative talk. Don't tell your kids what they can't have. Instead, explain which foods are better for them and why.
When my children were growing up, all they wanted to eat was junk food and Oreos. They’d then complain about not liking how they felt or looked. I reminded them that the most important thing that they can do is eat protein and we focused on adding more nutritious foods instead of taking away food. Parents don't love to do things when it’s coming from a negative place and neither do our children. If your children are going to have a bunch of Oreos, encourage them to drink a glass of milk with it. Concentrate on the good things that you're going to add to their diet versus taking away the food that is perceived as bad. Remember, moderation is always the answer.
Children will eat what’s in the house. Your pantry and fridge should be filled with easy to grab healthy food options. Set your counter up with snacks on-the-go snacks that are good for them. If you're eating right, they're going to be eating right. It’s important to remember that healthy doesn't mean eating very little- that's not the answer. We want our kids to grow and to be strong. They have to eat protein, and carbs because that's going to give them energy. If you provide food that's healthy, yummy, and abundant in the house, it'll be easier for them to grab and eat it. And guess what? When you drink a whole glass of milk, you probably have much less room for all the other junk food you wanted.
This applies to adults well. When we fill up on healthy protein, we’ll feel more satiated and won't have room for junk food. There's nothing wrong with enjoying your chocolate, ice cream, pizza, and everything else that you love, though we have to keep in mind that food helps to fuel our bodies. Remind your children that the things they love to do physically, like sports, is driven by having enough muscle mass and is also sustained by eating enough protein. Remember to focus on adding the good and to model the behavior you want to see in your children.
Join WFC Girls Club for our upcoming semester at Woodmere Fitness Club today!
* Take a look at our jam-packed schedule with classes for all ages.