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Summer Guide for Healthy Kids 7 Kid-Tested Tips for Maintaining Healthy Bodies

At Get Movin', we are committed to helping you fight the childhood obesity epidemic through fun and active fundraisers during the school year. Once summer hits, it can be harder to keep kids eating right and getting in the recommended 60 minutes of activity each day.

With the right attitude and some tried and trued tips, you can make this summer a healthy one for your whole family.

#1 Empower Through Education

Explain to your child that eating his greens and exercising daily is the kind of behavior that will make his body, mind and mood happier. We often take it for granted that kids don’t already know that some foods are bad and others are good, or the reason behind the labels of “good” and “bad.”

Sometimes a simple, positive explanation can go a long way in empowering kids to make those healthy decisions for themselves.

Check out Nourish Interactive for fun printouts on healthy food and habits to go over with your children or students.

#2 Get Kids Into the Kitchen

Work with your kids or young family members to come up with healthy meal ideas together, and then get those kids in the kitchen! This makes healthy mealtime exciting and something to bond over. By keeping kids separated from the process of buying, preparing or serving food, we make them more susceptible to the temptations of fast food and prepackaged snacks.

Equipping your child with a respect for making food and an excitement over being in control of what they put on their plate is a positive way of instilling lasting change. Want some inspiration? Check out our fun recipes for little chefs!

#3 Make Exercise an Experience

Take a Fun Run for example: kids are encouraged to run, walk and dance down the track with their friends to fun music, wearing bright colors and being supported by teachers and family. That’s exercise that a kid can get used to and an experience that they will remember and want to repeat.

You can repeat this experience at home by turning exercise into a fun game, neighborhood event, family experience, or healthy competition! You could also try a new sport or activity as a family, such as stand up paddle boarding, a beachside yoga class, or a hike at a location you've never been to before.

#4 Use Incentives!

Incentives aren’t just for fundraisers. Rather than threatening kids into healthy behavior, try to reward kids for eating healthy and exercising by treating them to small gifts or family-sized experiences.

Example: finishing those veggies without pouring a bucket of salt on them and playing outside for an hour could get your kids a movie night or time spent at Zap Zone (bonus exercise with that incentive!).

#5 Lead by Example

Try enforcing a family diet, not just a kid’s diet. This will alleviate the feeling your kids might have of being an outcast or having done something punishable. Besides, if your young ones see you sipping on cola all day long, they will balk at being told they can only have milk or water at dinner.

What kinds of exercise do you like to do? Running, basketball, yoga? Get your kid(s) involved! Take him or her on a jog around the neighborhood, teach the basics of basketball, or join a mommy-child yoga class.

#6 Add in the Fun

Yes, childhood health and wellness is a serious issue and should be treated as such, but there is no use in burdening children with all of the worrying statistics. Instead, get kids involved by turning it into a game!

Example: Write out your grocery list, making sure to leave in some indulgent options. Do a game-show style quiz for your children or students and have them answer which items should be taken off the list depending on its substances: high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, etc.

Children like to play and adding in the fun to health and wellness will get them on board and the lessons they learn will stick with them as they grow up.

#7 Set Positive Goals

Instead of making the matter about losing weight, try making it about gaining muscle, confidence, stamina, the ability to eat peas without making gagging noises. You get the idea. Make goals with your kids and write them down. Display them somewhere in the house or classroom, check them off when they’re achieved and reward the accomplishments.

Healthy habits aren’t achieved by moving from door-to-door, they are achieved by movin' toward a finish line! Check out our philosophy about creating healthy fundraisers for all kids:

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Created with images by Pineapple Supply Co. - "untitled image" • Ashton Bingham - "untitled image" • Brandon Morgan - "untitled image" • Pexels - "boy child fun" • Luke Porter - "untitled image" • Vidar Nordli-Mathisen - "untitled image"

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