Good morning everyone! No, I’m not on vacation, but today is a wonderful day for a guest post! I met Carolyn recently online and she has graciously offered to guest post for me today. Carolyn has a passion for fitness and overall well-being and her posts often give me great ideas on ways to make our family a little healthier. Today she talks about health for kids as well as adults, and if you’re a Biggest Loser
junkie fan like me, this may be something you’ve been thinking about a lot. I know I have!
Carolyn blogs over at Full-On Fit. Go check her out! Please leave a comment and show a little love!
Healthy Families Are Happy Ones
My family knows well that I am a shameless health nut, no matter what time of year it is! When my young cousin was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes this past November, however, I realized that I wasn’t doing enough by just taking care of myself. After doing some research, I was surprised at just how many kids, like my cousin, are affected by this disease. In fact, according to Syracuse’s Cardiac Center, 1 in 3 kids of today are diagnosed with diabetes, and that number is still increasing! In November (ironic, I know), I worked with others to raise awareness throughout American Diabetes Month. As New Year season is now upon us and going full-fledge, I am focusing on continuing this awareness through the coming seasons and throughout the whole year.
A lot of traditional family meals and goodies simply aren’t good for preventing Type 2 Diabetes. With decreased physical activities among children, coupled with rising incidents of childhood diabetes, health focus for children needs to include healthy treats low in saturated fat and processed sugar. This type of dietary intake, coupled with increased physical activity, goes far toward the prevention and treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.
So, just how can parents help their children navigate through this year for maximum health and diabetes prevention?
You won’t need to throw all yummy goodies out or completely do away with your kids’ favorite foods in order to keep them eating healthy this season. Getting creative with various fruits and vegetables allows for kids to get the nutrients they need, while also eating something delicious! Some of our favorite snack ideas can be found here and here!
Encouraging children to “play with their food” also helps them enjoy eating healthy dishes. Make a fun, festive salad out of hollowed-out tomatoes filled with green peas. Use low-fat cream cheese to attach pieces of olives and celery to the tomato for eyes. Getting creative with different foods allow for healthy eating, while also not making it seem like a punishment.
When it comes to actual meals, there are so many recipes on the internet that are delicious and healthy. Here are a few of our favorites:
– black bean veggie burgers – I usually eat it without a bun, but we
let the kids eat it in a pita
– Moroccan Tagine – a stew – the recipe calls for it over couscous,
but some of the younger kids don’t like couscous so we put it
over brown rice
– Sweet Potato-Turkey Meatloaf – one of the kids’ favorites!
– chili-lime shrimp – great as appetizers or a main dish
In addition to healthy snacks and meals, regular exercise will go far toward preventing Type 2 Diabetes in you and your kids. Those in cold climates can enjoy seasonal activities like sledding or snowball fights. In warmer climates, since all the kids are home from school, this is a great time to organize neighborhood games of kick the can, capture the flag or kick ball, tag, etc.
Whatever you choose to do to keep your family healthy during the New Year, be sure that you and your children participate in the activities together. Children who see adults modeling healthy behavior are far more likely than those who don’t to exhibit those healthy habits themselves.
Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/!
What do you do to encourage healthy eating with your kids? I’d love your tips!