It is important, as adults, that we set an example and be role models to children. Eating well and being physical is one way for the young ones to be inspired in leading a healthy and fit life.
We tend to live busy lives and a lot of the time it comes down to convenience in terms of what we serve in the school lunch box or on the dinner table. Backyard cricket and beach frisbee has been replaced with video games and television. Australia is increasing the obesity rate to astounding levels. As with a company, we need to start the change from the top management (ie. parents) so the lower level employees (ie our children) learn the ropes on what to do....and what not to do.
There are many ways in which we can influence how children think about food and exercise.
Minimise time on video games and television
Apart from the strain on eyesight, it is generally not educational and certainly does not allow children to interact with other children - socialisation is important to children's communication skills.
Be physical daily
Walk to/from school; encourage after school sport or physical activity; take a walk after dinner as a family. 30 minutes of moderate to high exercise daily is all that is required to keep your fitness levels in check.
Plan Ahead and Eat Well
Convenience - this word is used far too often as an excuse for not eating well. Most people write a shopping list therefore when you add things onto the list, plan your weekly meals at the same time ensuring that nutritious meals are a minimum 80% of your weekly plan. Set a goal each week to look through those 100s of recipe books and pick a new recipe each week to try.
An extension of Plan Ahead and Eat Well, spend a few hours cooking up a storm one day a week and invite children to help out. They learn about how to prepare food, what nutritious goodness are included in the meal/s you serve up and most importantly it is fun family time. If you do not have children, why not invite your neighbours young ones over for an afternoon of fun and food making - and tasting of course! Give them aprons and a wooden spoon and you will be the Martha Stewart of the neighbourhood. Ask parents permission is a must and check if anyone has any allergies.
Thank you to Miss Nurthen and her year 6 students.
If you would like me to visit your school, please contact me on 0404045261 or (Sydney schools)
In April 2014, I was invited to do an Outdoor Circuit for Year 6 Varsity College students on the Gold Coast teaching them the importance of stretching and functional exercises. See how the afternoon went by clicking here