Fit Camp for Kids! Lessons Learned.
This whole idea of becoming a Health Coach started with the kids. It was about 5 years ago when I started to notice the increased attention that childhood obesity was getting in the media. It made me sad, frustrated and maybe a little angry (our food culture these days is a nightmare). I would notice the kids at the school chorus concert, how many appeared overweight, some obese by the guidelines, I'm sure. I decided I needed to somehow find a way to participate in the fight against this epidemic. I started writing a children's book about it. I was fired up for a while, loved drawing the illustrations but the story just wasn't flowing for me and I set it aside while I worked on my certifications. After diving into my studies and even hosting a kids cooking class at my house, it really hit me. It won't help to just work with the kids on this, they don't buy the groceries, prepare the meals or decide what's for dinner every night (or probably shouldn't be anyway!). Healthy habits (or there lack of) start at home. I began noticing that many times the overweight or obese kids often had parents that too, were over weight or obese. Heredity?Perhaps. To a degree. But who is buying the groceries and preparing the meals? As parents, sometimes we want to spoil the kids with treats and snacks that they love but really, are we doing them any favors by buying these sugary sports drinks, bags of chips and Oreos? Just because they love them and they were a good girl today? It's a difficult cycle to get out of but it can be done. If you're in charge of the food purchases, you can make a huge difference in your own and your child's diet that can have a major positive impact on their health and body fat percentage. My focus in health coaching is now on those busy moms who have let their own health and or weight get out of control. But in the end, it still comes back to the kids.
Last year my friend who owns a gym and I put together a Fit Camp for Kids to give us a platform to work directly with the kids on the importance of exercise (and having fun with it!) and healthy eating (having fun with that too!). This most recent session last week was a blast and I'd love to share some snippets from the week with you! The kids were really enthusiastic and their knowledge of healthy eating varied among them. Some very obviously had healthy diets and eat all kinds of great things at home and others seemed a little more resistant but soaked up what they learned and were eager to share the new recipes we made with their families.
Each day they did a 30 minute circuit workout on kid sized hydraulic machines. It's a great way to learn about muscle groups and the importance of weight training (at an early age!).
Each day we made a new healthy snack (forgive the photo quality, I was making (a mess) snacks and trying to snap a few pics at the same time!). We made smoothies (not going to lie, some went over better than others...), Apple Cookies, a.k.a. apple slices with peanut butter and toppings, Cucumber Avocado rolls (huge hit, some kids had thirds and fourths, several mom's were asked to go buy nutritional yeast for the first time ever!) and the last day (no picture) was Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites (also a big hit "they taste like apple pie!!!!").
During the last 30 minutes each day we varied the activities from Jump Rope to Boot Camp to Limbo to games and more! We had fun with all of them but I'm sure they all loved Chinese jump rope the best!
Kids these days are busy playing all kinds of sports and taking dance and what not, but sometimes it's fun to do some straight up exercise outside of practicing your sport or dance. Good old fashioned games that require you to run around and work a little aren't as popular anymore but we can keep it going! Encourage your kids to get moving and better yet join them! Make some good healthy food together and discover that not only do healthy habits start at home, they can be fun!
They're all worn out....