The alarm goes off and it is time to get your kids off to school. But first, there is breakfast. For many families that consists of “kid-friendly” sugar laden cereals.
Tempting characters typically adorn these boxes which usually house a hidden prize inside. According to ConsumerReports.org, "The bad news is that 23 of the top 27 cereals marketed to children rated only Good or Fair for nutrition. There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg's Honey Smacks and 10 other rated cereals as there is in a glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts."
Pop Tarts, another breakfast favorite, contain approximately 17 grams of sugar per pastry. According to Sugarstacks.com, “You might as well eat a Twinkie for breakfast - it has about as much sugar.”
Next, it is on the bus and off to school, where there have been so many budget cuts throughout our nation that gym class has been sidelined in many schools. If this is the case in your child’s school, it is extra important to get them involved in a sport or activity such as soccer or dance class.
Encourage them to step away from the video games, computers and televisions and ride their bike or play tag. Fun games in the backyard, such as an obstacle course will help encourage kids to exercise and have fun.
Family activities on the weekends such as a ballgame in the park or a family bike ride or hike are also ways to get your kids moving. As they move into adolescents, it is especially important to keep encouraging them in their sport or activity.
Get involved in your kids' school to help them implement activities and pay attention to what is on the cafeteria menu. SouthBeachDiet.com suggests that, "If your cafeteria where your kids go to school frequently serves dishes like fried chicken nuggets, pizza, and french fries, work with the school board if you can to make some changes to the menu."
In the meantime, pack them a healthy lunch and educate them to help make those healthful choices themselves.
Getting the family involved on a health kick is of utmost importance. Be an example to your kids by eating more fruits and vegetables. As parents you should limit your screen time too, put down the smartphone and remote, and get moving in a healthier direction.
It is my professional and personal experience that the more active you are the more you can accomplish both on a work and family level.
“Better cereal choices for kids? Some child-focused products are 50 percent sugar – ConsumerReports.org.” Consumer Reports. Web 22 Sept. 2011.
“Breakfast Foods – SugarStacks.com.” Sugar Stacks. Web 22 Sept. 2011.
“How to Keep Your Kids Fit and Healthy – SouthBeachDiet.com.” The South Beach Diet. Web 22 Sept. 2011.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith