Tips, Tools and Activities
Get Oustide: Research shows time spent in contact with nature is important to the healthy development of children. Look for opportunities to explore nature, which will engage all of your children's senses and develop their creativity. Nature is all around, even in urban environments, so explore with your children for a fun bonding opportunity.
Play Every Day
Turn it up a notch: Several times each week, spend a little more energy while moving. Try to engage in vigorous activities at least three times each week for 20 consecutive minutes. Don't worry if five or 10 minutes leave you feeling wiped out at first. Small steps will get you there, so don't overdo it. When the play stops feeling good, take a break.
Shrink Your Plates! Studies have shown that using smaller plates can be an effective strategy for reducing the amount of food that your family eats. Our tendency when we serve food is to fill the plate, which often leads to larger portion sizes than we actually need. Consider serving your meals on the salad plates in your family cupboard instead of the larger entrée plates. When and if anyone wants seconds, it’s a better idea to be prepared to provide additional servings of fruits and vegetables instead of the typically more calorie rich entrée..
Daily life gets so busy. How can I ensure I stay connected to my kids?
Make the most of little opportunities. If one-to-one time is tough to plan, try to enrich everyday moments with more conversation and connection. If you can, pull a child aside to join you on an errand and talk in the car, perhaps stopping for a treat or taking the long way home. Or turn family chores like gardening or folding laundry into little chunks of time where the two of you can talk while you work. Kids often share feelings or concerns during these opportunities.