Teaching kids about nutrition and exercise
Obviously, in my home, I am a big cheerleader for teaching kids about balanced nutrition and the need for daily exercise. Sorry….a two hour soccer game on the weekend is NOT meeting your child’s physical fitness needs.
Last year, I had a place for my kids to record their water intake. I had another place for them to record their daily Move It Minutes. I was so excited to find this handout for them to use which teaches them even more about balanced meals and exercise!
Click on this link and make sure to print it! Then follow the directions below:
So here is how we use it:
1. At the bottom of each day, draw a little cup.
2. In the corner of each food group, write the guidelines, or goals, they are working for. For instance, for my kids who are 7 and 8, grains=6, veggies=3-4, fruits=2-3, dairy=3, meat/beans=3, and Move It Minutes=60. Beside where you draw your cups, write water=8.
3. Laminate it if you can. If not, put it in a clear plastic sleeve like you put in binders as page protectors.
4. Get a little dry erase marker for them to use at the table with the eraser attached, or you can hot glue a little fuzzy craft pom-pom to the end of a normal dry erase marker.
5. At each meal, snack, etc. they mark a dot in that star for eating that food group. (Remember my earlier post where I said all meals should have three food groups and snacks should have two–one of which being a fruit or veggie?)
6. When they do at least 10 minutes of exercise or at least heart pumping play, have them mark a dot. In our house, each dot equals 4 minutes of TV time on the weekend.
7. When they drink 8 oz of water, they mark a dot in their water cup section.
This has been teaching them to make wise and balanced choices, especially at snack time, when they typically want just carbs. It is also making them aware of being hydrated and making sure they get enough exercise! My girls would love to sit and read for hours upon hours….but that is not very good for their growing bodies! And when they are adults, that habit of sitting for hours and not exercising will not translate to good health either!
I hope you utilize this great resource and get on the ball in regards to teaching your kids about wise wellness choices. Habits start now! As the picture says, “You are what you repeatedly do.” Be an inspiring teacher! Your kids are counting on you.