Now that you’re FHIT enough to chase down your kids at the beach and lift them onto the monkey bars at the park, school is back in session and spending the entire day playing outside is a distant memory. For many, September brings a sigh of relief as school often means a few extra kid-free minutes in the day for parents. However, as sweet as it is to finally catch a break from the constant over-activity of the summer, the school year may lead to under-activity for our children. Summer’s over, the bell has rung, and now your kids are sitting. Whether they sit through circle time, morning meeting and manipulatives or algebra and geography, most kids are active only for a short period of their school day. While you continue to get more FHIT with us, by the time we reach next summer, your kids may be unable to chase you down at the beach.
To help keep your kids FHIT during the school year, consider incorporating these FHIT tips into your back-to-school routine:
1. Create your own kid-friendly FHIX
Like most six year-olds, Jessica’s daughter Keira seems to contain an unlimited amount of energy. Seeing her mom sweat it out at The Fhitting Room inspires Keira to use her imagination to create her own FHIX, just like mom. Chances are your children’s endless energy will rub off on you and they may just become your new favorite workout partner!
Besides leading all of his dedicated FHIXers at The Fhitting Room, instructor Eric heads two kids of his own at home. We asked his advice on how he’s kept them healthy and FHIT throughout the years.
Eric suggests using similar tactics on kids as those he employs at The Fhitting Room while instructing: Create both short- and long-term competitions/goals to track progress and make simple activities fun.
Try our version of “FHITness Factor”
Challenge # 1: 31-day Burpee Battle: Begin October 1st with 1 burpee the first day and end October 31st with 31 burpees to complete the month (yes, you’re expected to participate as well!). Each day add an additional burpee to your routine and measure your progress together!
Challenge # 2: Stairway to FHIT: Take the stairs! Even if it’s only a flight or two, get climbing. When you arrive home reward those tired little legs (and your own) with a well-deserved treat!
After school activities not only keep kids physically active, they ensure that your young athletes are socially active as well; meeting new kids and learning the importance of teamwork. The city is teeming with gyms and businesses that offer karate, gymnastics, soccer, baseball, swimming, basketball, yoga, dance, (the list goes on). Once your child starts showing particular interest in a specific sport or activity it’s essential that they receive your full support. Make an effort to travel to practice together, attend games or shows, accept their successes (fact or fiction) and failures, and perhaps even practice together during free time. If you demonstrate interest in your child’s sport, research shows that they’re more likely to stick with it!
3. Embrace electronics...say WHAT?
Most parents are already in the habit of limiting their children’s computer, iPad, television and video game time. However, you still have that Playstation, Xbox or Wii lying around so why not use it to generate additional activity at home? Ditch the mindless thumb-pounding games and try some of the more active ones on the market. Dance Dance Revolution or the interactive Wii games are both fun and easily accessible, and your kids will burn off some extra energy without even leaving home.
4. Brown-bag it
Making lunch for your kids is a healthy alternative to school lunches, but that’s only if it’s done right. It’s not always easy to get your kids to actually eat and enjoy nutritional meals but we’ve come up with some tips that are both healthy and FHIT for the pickiest of eaters.
Play dress-up: Transform the familiar “good-for-you” foods into visually appealing treats your kids will at least try rather than instantly turning up their nose at the sight of a fruit or vegetable. For example, fhixing up a tasty protein-packed, fiber-rich smoothie in a portable thermos is the easiest way to conceal fruits and vegetables under the attractive disguise of a shake or smoothie. It also saves time in the morning so that getting your kids to eat breakfast and making it to the bus on time are no longer mutually exclusive!
Put on a show: Presentation is everything. Add a variety of colors and create fun shapes with the food. Something as simple as multicolored tupperware can turn an ordinary lunch into a game of show-and-tell. Try this Almond Butter and Honey Sushi Sandwich. If your child is nut- or seed-intolerant check out these 5 fun lunch ideas for all types of eaters: the Picky Eater, the Adventurer, the Artiste, the Grazer and the Chef.
We spend all this time talking about getting FHIT and living a FHIT lifestyle as individuals, but we don’t always acknowledge the ones fueling our determination to be healthy. We know you’ve got the first part down, being a FHIT individual inside and out, so it’s time to lead by example and your loved ones will follow!