Tips, Tools and Activities
Fall is here and in full swing! It’s easy to get caught up in the hectic routine of the school year with school, work, and all of everyone’s activities. However, it is important to make sure to set aside some time for the family to have fun and be active together. This colorful season offers so many fun, seasonal, and festive opportunities for families to enjoy together. Here are some tips and suggestions for incorporating some fall fun into the family’s routine this season.
- Set aside time for the family and take advantage of the time you have together. Plan a family activity to go to the apple orchard, pick out pumpkins, go on a hayride, or go on a hike to explore and enjoy the beautiful fall colors.
- Involve the entire family in the planning process. Everyone should have a chance to express and explore his or her interests. Encourage each child to suggest and even plan a family activity. Empowering children with opportunities to make fun and healthy decisions for the family will make family time and activity more exciting and stimulating for them.
- Establishing healthy family traditions. With the holidays coming up, this is a great time to establish some healthy family traditions and habits that the children will carry with them throughout their lives. A family flag football game on Thanksgiving, running in the local turkey trot 5k race, having a healthy chili cook off; these are all fun and exciting activities that families can enjoy and look forward to doing together during the fall holiday season.
Reduce Stress Around Bedtime: Each night as it gets closer to bedtime, it is important that children have time to wind down and release any stress or tension that they might have developed throughout the day. Bedtime should not be a stressful or dreaded time for children, it should be pleasant and comforting; something they look forward to. Incorporating a quiet and relaxing family activity such as story time or a quiet family game before bedtime might be a great way to wind down as a family and prepare for sleep without stress or anxiety.
Play Every Day
Family Fun in the Fall: Take advantage of this crisp and colorful fall season outdoors with the family. Plan a hike or nature walk and explore the beautiful fall colors together, go on nightly family walks or bike rides, turn raking into a fun activity- build leaf forts, jump into the leaf piles, or make it a family contest to see who can pick up their leaf piles the fastest. Family bonding through fun and healthy outdoor activities is an excellent way to make sure that everyone maintains a healthy and active lifestyle.
What kind of milk is best for children as they are growing and developing?
Current recommendations suggest that children over the age of two consume fat-free or low fat dairy products. But does this mean that it is unhealthy to offer children reduced fat or whole fat dairy products? Dairy is an important component of childhood nutrition because it provides them with Calcium and Vitamin D, which are necessary for bone health and development. Reduced fat and whole fat dairy products are higher in saturated fat and calories, however they still provide the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as low-fat and non-fat dairy products. As long as a child is not consuming more than 2-3 cups of dairy per day and he or she is not overweight, obese, or at risk for becoming overweight or obese, it is not necessarily a poor choice for them to get calcium and Vitamin D through higher fat dairy products. The most important component of childhood nutrition is whether or not a child is consuming healthy and well-balanced meals that meet and do not exceed his or her nutrition requirements.
Go to YMCA.net for more Healthy Family Home tools and resources.