The Family That Plays Together

Kids learn most of what they know from the biggest influence in their lives, their parents. With childhood obesity rates rising faster than ever parents must lead the charge to raise healthier and happier children.

{Family activities teach kids how to live healthy lives!}

The family that plays together, stays together, or something like that, right? Today that saying is more important than ever, with childhood diabetes rates on the rise. In the spirit of helping busy parents find ways to stay active as a family, we’ve come up with a few activities.

Playtime

Grab the kids and hit the yard or park for playtime. Pack the car full of Frisbees, balls, skates, ropes and any other equipment needed to keep the entire family active. When the kids see you out there being active–with no electronic devices to distract them–they’ll be happy to join dear old dad & mom for a competitive game of touch football.
Although very few studies have been done on the influence of family on a healthy diet and exercise, plenty of literature indicates that a strong family influence can teach children to form a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Chores

Next time the family dog needs his walk, grab one of the kids and get moving! When its time for housework—that the kids can help with, of course—put them to work. They’ll love to help and they’ll be active while learning how to be responsible for their environment. Of course chores aren’t the most exciting activities on the planet, but children look to their parents for guidance on how to act and if they see mom & dad having fun doing chores, they will have fun too!

This doesn’t mean 9-year old Suzie should be attempting to clean pots and pans, but household activities like picking up leaves, putting toys away or even folding laundry requires movement. The key to getting your kids and entire family more active is to lead the way. Children learn best by example, so it is up to you to be that positive influence…not to mention it’ll keep you healthy as well.

Family Meals

With parents working longer hours than they did 20 years ago, many families don’t enjoy the benefit of nightly family dinners. This means that children are not getting enough nutrient rich meals that will help them maintain a healthy weight. When you set the table with lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and fiber-rich foods, your kids are picking up healthy eating habits from YOU.

What they learn at the dinner table will transfer into their daily lives so they make healthy food choices even when you aren’t around. According to Kathleen T. Morgan, Department Chair of Family & Community Health Sciences at Rutgers University:

Children who have more family meals get more of the nutrient-rich foods that build strong muscles and smart brains…

Family meals can also have another health benefit for families. Make cooking meals together part of family time to make sure you instill healthy eating habits in your children. Give each member of the family responsibility for one part of the meal so everyone is involved. This will teach children what are healthy foods to eat and which should be eaten in moderation. The more information they have, the better chance your children have of maintaining a healthy bodyweight and an active lifestyle.

Old-Fashioned Exercise

Introducing your children to regular exercise doesn’t mean purchasing baby dumbbells for the kids; what it does mean is that you can find creative ways to teach your children how to maintain a healthy bodyweight. The more you encourage your children to be active, the less time they are spending in front of the television or computer.
Family exercises you can do together include bike rides around the neighborhood and what kids would say no to that? Your backyard can be transformed into a playground that includes activities like skipping, hopscotch, jumping on a trampoline, swimming or even a game of tag.

The family that plays together is a healthy family not susceptible to obesity related illnesses. By taking steps now to give your children the information they need to become healthy adults, you can reduce the chances that they’ll have to learn how to lose weight rather than maintain a healthy body weight. It’s never too late for you to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and pass it on to your children.

Get more information on losing weight and keeping it off at The Fat Loss Authority!

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