We all want our kids to be happy and healthy, but how much do you actually do to promote their physical well-being?
Recently I asked for some tips from local residents about how they get their kids to eat healthy and be active.
Here are six ways to help get you and your family moving onto the right track.
By Any Means Necessary
It may sound almost like bribery, but in our family we offer the kids a little extra allowance if they are willing to try new healthy foods.
Just like on Fear Factor, we've found that kids are willing to eat just about anything for a little monetary reward.
The funny thing is, often they like the healthy food if we can just get them over the mental block they have.
Skip the Dessert
No dessert unless you eat at least one fruit and vegetable at every meal. This rule has worked pretty well for our family, kids can't stand to lose out on dessert, so they will do what they have to do to get it.
We do try to provide a wide range of fruits and vegetables to choose from though, that way they get a variety of nutrients and don't get bored with eating the same thing all the time.
I simply sneak healthy foods into their meals and they never even notice. Whether it's putting flax seed into hamburgers, pureed veggies into spaghetti sauce, or making brownies with apple sauce and olive oil, I make sure they get the good stuff.
We used to be the kind of family that always went to see a movie on the weekend, but in order to get healthier, we changed our entertainment plan.
Now each member of the family gets a week to choose a favorite activity, with one condition, whatever they choose has to be active. Since starting this tradition we have been roller skating, played laser tag, went rock climbing, gone on hikes, tried Karate and even went to a jump rope club.
Being active beats dinner and a movie anytime.
No More Remote Controls
We've outlawed remotes. Since then, the kids watch a lot less TV, and even if they do watch it occasionally, at least they have to get up and walk across the room to change the channel. This probably gets them more exercise since they usually channel surf during the commercials.
Video Games to Get Fit
Although outdoor activity is preferable, we do take advantage of our gaming console on rainy or cold days. Kids really get into playing Wii Fit, Just Dance, and other active games, especially if we play it with them. Besides, you'll get a great workout in while having fun.