Heart Healthy Habits
Making sure our kids have every opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.
We all truly want our children to live full lives with the least number of obstacles as possible. Making sure they are happy and healthy is our number one priority as their parents and care givers. Sometimes the lines are a bit blurred when it comes to nutrition and exercise, so we’re going to help you come up with some fun activities and options to ensure you’re creating the best healthy environment for your kids to thrive in.
Don’t forget that one way to keep your kids healthy is to keep yourself healthy as well. We set an example for our children that can’t be denied. If we’re moving regularly and eating good-for-us foods, our kids will tend to emulate those behaviors. That’s why we suggest working together as a family to create heart healthy habits. So, part of our fun includes you - mom, dad and grandparents, to participate and enjoy this time with the kiddos in your life.
Exercise - For a strong body and positive mental outlook
Have a pushup contest - Have the kids sit on their parents lower back as they count how many pushups mom and dad can do. Now, have the kids do pushups with a stack of playing cards on their back. Make sure they don’t fall! Next try a stack of paperback books on mom and dad. And a stack of Legos on the kids’ backs. Be aware that lots of giggle accompany this exercise.
Have a dance party - Dancing is a great way to get both cardio and toning benefits. Find your favorite tunes and crank it up! Everyone can take a turn doing a dance of their own. Work in some awesome break dancing along with ballet, jazz moves and even some line dancing! Another fun option would be for one person to choreograph a dance for the whole family to do. Take turns so the kids all get a chance to create a dance. Or, just turn those turns up to 11 and have a free-for-all dancing fiesta!
Play indoor volleyball with a balloon - Grab a balloon and blow it up. Make a ‘net’ out of couch cushions, dining room chairs or even a line of stuffed animals. One team stands on one side of the net and the other is on the other side. Then, play ball! Volleyball, that is. Keep the balloon in the air as long as you can, bopping it back and forth over the net. If the balloon touches the ground, that’s a point for the other team.
Nutrition - For a healthy body inside and out
Peanut butter flat bread - Grab some flat bread and warm it up on the stove in a pan. Spread some peanut butter on the warm flatbread. Now thinly slice up an apple, grab some raisins and cranberries and sprinkle all of the fruit on the peanut butter. If you want some crunch, add some granola. Now fold in half and cut into strips. Share with the family and enjoy with a cold glass of coconut or almond milk.
Fruit and veggie smoothies - Gather some frozen bananas, berries, spinach, coconut, kale, carrots, pineapple and almond milk and throw it all in a blender. Now, let the kids blend that beautiful smoothie until everything is mixed in well together. Pour into glasses and top with fresh berries.
Banana ice cream - Next time you have some brownish bananas sitting around, instead of tossing them in the compost pile, peel them, slice them up and throw them in the freezer. Next time you’re having a game or movie night, grab those frozen nanners and pop them in the blender. Use a little chocolate coconut milk and then blend away. The bananas and milk will blend into the consistency of chocolate ice cream. Top with berries, banana chips, granola or chocolate chips.
Fun! - For mental health and bonding
What’s in the fish tank? - If you have an old fish tank or giant bowl around the house, fill it with water and add an object to the bottom of the tank. Blindfold the first person who will be the guesser. They have to feel around the water for the object. It could be something really gross and slimey, or something pokey (not too pokey) or something mushy. The person has to guess what the object is after they finally find it and feel it for clues. This one will make everyone completely crack up! Repeat for each family member.
Face painting - Head to the nearest party store and grab some fun face paints. Sit down and design the paintings you’d like to have painted on. Then each person takes a turn recreating the design on one family member’s mush. Go around until everyone has had a chance to paint and be painted. If you don’t have fancy face paints for this activity, you can use some old makeup! Want a fun challenge? Use the blindfold from the fish tank game and do some blindfolded face painting. Neither of you can see what the creation is until it’s finished. And, the rest of the family is going to have a great time ROTF laughing.
Make a movie - What a fun way to spend time together! First, sit at the table and come up with a basic movie idea and plan it out. Maybe write a short script of what’s going to happen and have everyone have a role to play in the movie. Next, get the props ready and if you need to, draw or create a cool backdrop for the movie that goes with the theme. Now, grab that phone and start recording. The most fun comes when you play the movie back for the whole family to watch together.
We hope you enjoy creating happy, healthy memories doing these activities together as a family. Not only are you having a great time together, you’re creating healthy habits that include good nutrition and instilling a valuable understanding that nutrition, exercise and active movement can be FUN and HEALTHY at the same time.
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