You know what they say, out of the mouths of babes. Here are some of the kidisms in my family!
This post was contributed by Samantha Thayer from USANA Health Sciences and infographic design by Mikelle Williams. For more information on how you can love life and live it, visit us on our blog, What’s Up, USANA?.
It’s always a struggle to change our habits. The majority of the time, we start habits young and they end up staying with us into our adult years. We learn these habits from observing our environment, our teachers, our friends, and our family. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss how we can encourage youth to start healthy habits and maintain them throughout the rest of their lives.
There’s a difficult road that children have to navigate to live a healthy lifestyle. There are many barriers, including socioeconomic status, education levels, and the environment of which they live and are raised. More than a third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese (CDC). Some contributing factors to this may be poor exercise and eating habits. Here are some more sobering facts about exercise and diet for children and adolescents, and some ways to improve them:
- Children ages 2-5 spend an average of 32 hours a week watching TV and playing video games.
- 74% of children between the ages 5 and 10 don’t get enough physical activity each day. The physical activity guidelines for school-age kids recommend that each day (from kidshealth.org):
- Get 1 hour or more of moderate and vigorous physical activity on most or all days
- Participate in several bouts of physical activity of 15 minutes or more each day
- Avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more unless sleeping
Some ways we can encourage an increase in the level of physical activity our children get is making it part of their daily routine. If there’s time, try going on a family walk in the evening either before or after dinner. Encourage playing tag, riding bikes, and building snowmen in the winter. Another way to help is limiting the amount of time spent doing sedentary (non-active) activities. I know it can be difficult with so much technology in our hands nowadays. Here is a list of apps that you can get to set screen time limits on your devices. Try it out! 🙂
- For children ages 2-18, 40% of calorie intake is empty calories, such as sugars and unhealthy fats.
- Try leaving some fast snack options around the home. Pre-slice fruits and vegetables so your kids can grab and go. Celery with peanut butter, carrots with hummus, sliced apples, and raisins are all great options!
- Cereals marketed to children have 56% more sugar and half the fiber of those aimed at adults. Crazy, right?
- Always try to encourage your children to spend more of their days being active, and remind them to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Use a quality vitamin supplement for children, if needed, to fill in any nutritional gaps.
Thank you for reading. I hope that this encourages you to be mindful of the examples we are setting for our kids. It’s more difficult than ever, it seems, to define “health” and help our children make healthy habits.
Hopefully this blog post has helped provide useful information for you, and if you know another mom who would like this, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. For more information on the importance of starting healthy habits, check out our infographic below!
It’s 10:25 and we are just walking out of the house. The options are run to church, and I mean run down the road since it’s about a half mile away, or try and load the kids in and drive there. Which one will take more time? Probably getting all four kids in and buckled. But I am rather pregnant to be running down the road to get there in five minutes.
I don’t know how we are late again. The past few weeks we had done amazingly well; we left early enough to get in some fellowship as we brought Monkey and Bug to the nursery. Yet, here we are again, running late. Part of me wants to crawl back into my house and go back to bed – after all, there were sick kids this past week and I am in my third trimester…no one would judge me for that.
But I don’t. I push on. We get there five minutes late, me sneaking in the back after an opening prayer and dropping the two littler children off. I sit down and settle in for worship.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you parenting took a huge toll on my faith. We grew from just being us, a husband and wife, to having five kids in less than a year thanks to foster care. My time went from being spent leisurely; I could put hours into worshiping and fellowship to suddenly being a huge schedule filled with appointments, extra curriculars, and late nights nursing. I was always early and left last for the party. I volunteered for everything. And I couldn’t do that anymore. The impact was sudden and intense and many days, I missed the positives of it.
But parenting also impacted my faith in such wonderful ways.
It strengthened my trust in God’s will. I sat in a court room, swearing with my right hand up, and testified to adopt my foster children, well aware there was no way to know what God’s plan for their life or mine was yet. I spent nights agonizing over what would happen-would we be their forever family? Would we be a blip in their lives? My faith grew astronomically during that time frame, as I whispered to myself day after day, “Your Will Be Done.”
Parenting strengthened my faith in His Sovereignty . I am a complete control freak. Parenting is not an area where you have control. I was not in control with foster care; I never would be. I was not in control with pregnancy nor was I in control with my son’s birth. I am not in control of my kid’s bio parents choices. I’m not even in control when it comes to getting my kids to church on time! It’s been a constant reminder in God’s control and to bow down to Him being in charge of every area of this world.
And lastly, parenting impacted my faith by showing me the closest worldly show of what God’s love truly means. This is totally cliché, but that is okay with me. Becoming a mother showed me what undeniable and unrelenting love of Jesus. Becoming an adoptive mother reminded me that we are all adopted by God into His family – and like I love all my children equally, no matter their failures or mess ups, God loved me.
My faith has grown by so much since I became a parent. The impact parenting had on my relationship with God is indescribable and I am so thankful for it.
Even on those days we are ten minutes late for church and I forget to put lipstick on.
Lauren is a young Christian mother to 8 children. She is passionate about her children (foster and biological <3 ) and her faith. You can read more about her at her website: www.bellowintheberkshires.com!
Hi, I’m Brandi!
I blog over at Crunchy Creamy Mama (www.crunchycreamymama.com) regularly writing about healthy eating and living, with a dash of healthy failures thrown in for fun. Today I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to guest post here!
My family is very fortunate to live in Southern California where the weather is generally nice enough to be outside. However, winter colds still seem to find us and require us to stay inside, and in December it can be dark outside as early as 4:30 PM, so we need to have plenty of indoor activities to keep the kids occupied. (I do realize you may not be feeling sorry for me that we have to be inside by 4:30 PM, especially if you live an area where you get three feet of snow. Please stay with me.)
Here are some favorite indoor activities for the little ones:
- Play with water!For my littlest one, I put some water in a baking dish he can’t lift and put him on top of a towel or blanket on the tile floor. He loves to splash his hands in the water. I give him plastic measuring cups, spoons, utensils, and ice cubes to play around with in the water.
Make sure this activity is always supervised since it involves children around water.
Older kids may not be as interested in playing with a small dish of water like the little ones, so you might want a different water activity. Pull out identical glasses and fill them with varying amounts of water. Give your child a spoon to hit the glasses (gently) and hear the various pitches. Let you kids experiment with what happens to the sound when they change the amount of water in the glasses.
- Have a raceI think we all have at least one (or 10) ride-ons, or push toys around our house. This activity gets the kids interested in those toys again! Recently I was telling a friend about how my kids are bored with their ride on toys in our house, and she gave me the suggestion of letting the kids race them. Well, it sounded like a terrible idea at first, my kids racing around the house? No thanks. She explained she actually makes a race track around her house with painter’s tape (the blue stuff that comes off easily.)
So my boys don’t actually race either other drag race style, and the baby pushes his walker in any direction no matter where the blue tape leads. The toddler though really enjoys having a race track in the house, and his little brother does his best to keep up. Bless his heart.
- Make music
A great activity for kids of all ages! Pull out some pots, pans, bowls, whisks, spoons, and spatulas out and let the kids make some music! After awhile your sanity may start to wane, you can either: 1) put on some noise cancelling headphones, b) or move on to a quiet activity.
- CookI love to cook, and my toddler loves to help. If you don’t have the same passion about cooking, this may not be your thing. We started cooking together when he was about 18 months old and he still asks to “make sumfing mom” almost every day, a year later. When I was beginning to cook with him, we mostly made baked goods that could easily be measured, dumped, stirred and baked.
For him, I used one of our bar stools as a table. I measured the ingredients in a plastic cup and then let him dump everything into the bowl. One of our favorites to make is muffins and then we freeze the muffins to be reheated quickly for breakfast—dual purpose activity!
- DanceFamily dance time is an absolute favorite in our house, even the baby dances! We started dance parties when our oldest wasn’t even a year old and we noticed he danced like a mad man to “Happy” by Pharrell. Didn’t every one though? Turn on some kid-friendly, up tempo music and dance around the living room like crazy. We have a fun disco light and pretend microphones to add to the dance party, but these are not necessities. I always wonder what our neighbors think we’re up to when the dance parties start…
- Make a choo choo trainYes, I could have written “Make a train” above, but my son calls them choo choo trains, so I call them choo choo trains. This activity could be difficult based on the size of your chairs and your kids. It works well with my little kids and my counter height chairs.
With the kitchen chairs lined up, each child gets underneath a chair with one as the conductor in the lead chair driving the train. Underneath our chairs we scoot around with everyone following the conductor. Then we alternate who gets to be the train conductor driving us around the kitchen.
Sometimes we all need new ideas when we’ve been inside for too long. I hope I’ve given you some new inspiration!
What is your favorite indoor activity for little kids? 🙂