10 Commitments that us as parents should follow to raise healthy children.

  1. Be active. The habits that we develop in our childhood will stay with us for life. Exercise and active play need to be at the top of that list! Make them a habit and not a chore, it should be as easy to do as brushing your teeth!
  2. Limit “screen time” to encourage more active play. Decide how much time a child should have each day with electronics, video games, phones, iPad and televisions! Remember they shouldn’t really be sitting for longer than an hour unless they are sleeping!
  3. Introduce healthy foods to children starting at the age of 2. Feed children a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables.
  4. Eat dinner as a family. Turn the television off and conversation on!
  5. Never use food as a reward or punishment; it puts too much power onto food. Don’t say that food is “bad” or “good” for you; look at food as your bodies fuel to operate fully, like the fuel in a car!
  6. Set rules and stick to them. What if a referee decided to change the rules of a football game half way through? The players will feel confused and a battle of wills has begun! No one wants this frustration, I know I don’t! It’s never too late to bring in new rules or understanding.
  7. Communicate. Teach children to use words when they are upset or frustrated, not to turn to food or television to forget about their pain. Be sure to let your child know they are loved at any weight, any fitness level and at all times!
  8. Learn a new activity together. Hopefully my “family fitness” exercises have helped you all to be active together so far, and have been something new for you to try as one unit!
  9. Designate a room or a place for fitness. We have designated bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms etc. why can’t we have a room for fitness? The garden is obviously perfect for this, but I know some of you may not have this space, let alone one inside the house, so why not use a specific local field or community space that you can all go to together?
  10. Develop a positive attitude. Always see the bright side of any situation you’re facing. We don’t have a lot of control over our feelings but we can control our thoughts

These healthy commitments were originally written by Kimberly Wechsler, she has been speaking out about the importance of getting kids active for a very long time, and is based in the United States of America. She specialises in children’s fitness and has lectured at fitness seminars throughout the states. Her books have helped me develop my children’s fitness classes, and sparked my creativity in different types of fun, exercises for children. I want to say thank you to her for sharing her years of experience with us children’s fitness instructors, we are often forgotten about and it is us who begin to develop active children in our communities.

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