Spring is here and we all want to get outside and get active! A healthy lifestyle includes many components, such as, keeping our body fit, learning new skills, and making nutritious choices in what we eat. As a busy family, it’s often hard to keep all our health goals on track. We can provide some guidance and ideas on how to create healthy goals but, ultimately, try to work together to see what works best for you. As parents, we can act as role models and hopefully our children will learn from a young age that healthy choices help them feel better and play better!
Let’s begin with ways to get our bodies moving! Exercise will help our body stay strong so that we can do all the things we like, and it helps us feel great. Here are some fun ways for kids and families to get active:
If you would like to start a new training routine, such as running, then we recommend that you sit down with an adult before the summer begins to prepare a running schedule that will be appropriate for your age, experience and your goals for the season. When starting your running season, make sure the distances are manageable and easy, over time you can slowly start setting goals that are tougher to reach. Also try to explore new places and run on different terrains such as hills, grass, and trails. Finally, keep a journal or diary to record what you have done each day to celebrate your progress.
Next up is the importance of learning new skills and keeping our brain active! Try to expose children to a variety of opportunities that will benefit their brain & body:
By learning and by doing various actions, we become more confident and experienced and that makes those activities more enjoyable. Learning something new also gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Last, but not least, we need to make sure that we’re feeding our body all the nutrients it needs to keep us moving all day long! With the introduction of the new Canada’s Food Guide, we were thrilled with the addition of the lifestyle change “Cook More Often”. Cooking our own meals at home and as a family is a great place to start. When we control what goes into our food, then we can make better choices that benefit our body. Cooking is a great family activity and you can get kids of all ages involved in meal prep.
Age 4-6: children can start with tasks such as washing produce, measuring, mixing, assembling and organizing. We recommend low-risk activities and providing supervision while in the kitchen.
Age 7-10: With their quickly developing fine motor skills, this age group is ideal for introducing more challenging roles, such as knife skills and pan work. Also, it’s important to explicitly lay out the safety rules when using this higher risk equipment while still approaching the experience with relaxed energy and encouragement.
Age 11+: This age category has the potential to take on the recipe in its entirety with some supervision. For less experienced tweens, we recommend following the guidelines for the age 7-10 category. Just like the younger age category, explicitly run through the safety rules when using any higher risk equipment and be sure to provide encouragement and support.
So, let’s strive to keep our bodies fit and strong every day – by keeping active, playing sports and fun games, challenging ourselves to try something new and feeding our bodies with nutritious foods. That sounds like a fabulous recipe for a healthy lifestyle!
Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Egg & Potato Omelette)
Yield: 6-8 Servings