Both of my kids have carefully curated candy caches. Halloween is a week past, but those piles of sugar and fat haven’t shrunk much. Babyboy is more interested in organizing and displaying his (he keeps building a “candy store” in the living room), and Babygirl tends to try one bite of anything and then reject it. Regardless, they are still eating about two pieces of candy a day.
I know we could take the candy away and manage it ourselves, or negotiate them out of it, but we like the idea of them learning to manage the sweets in a normal way. We want to model and to teach them: everything in moderation.
Hubby and I were both “husky” sized schoolkids. We were teased for being chubby, to the point of tears. For both of us, this has resulted in a lifelong focus on health and fitness.
We don’t want our kids to become overweight, and we certainly don’t want them to get teased, but we also don’t want them to obsess over it. Living well should feel natural. So we haven’t been too pushy or preachy about eating healthy and exercising. Rather, it’s just the way it is.
We usually have plenty of produce and plant-based foods in the house, and not many processed foods (Halloween candy excepted…). We ourselves don’t frequent fast food joints, so they don’t, either. Yes, we do hot dogs and fries and pizza on weekends. Luckily, both our kids prefer fruit and yogurt over most other foods, and even seem to be self-regulating the candy intake, for the most part.
That leaves the physical activity part…
Many of the families around us have their kids involved in organized sports of some kind: soccer, karate, dance. To date, we’ve been too disorganized, and, dare I say it, too lazy to figure all of that out. Hubby and I both work, our schedules are pretty hectic, and so… we just haven’t gotten to it yet. He and I are fairly OCD about our own exercise. I can safely say that if we don’t get regular intense cardiovascular activity, we don’t feel normal.
But, neither of us has been able to commit the kids to any scheduled exercise activities.
Every respectable medical and public health organization in our country recommends sixty minutes or more of physical activity a day for kids. Per the Centers for Disease Control (and like, everyone else too):
“all children age 2 and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied”.
Hubby and I ran a charity 5 k yesterday, with the kids. But they sat in the double jog stroller. They got fresh air, yes, but they also ate plenty of the complimentary bananas and Munchkins. So when we got home, I got out the big and little rakes, a bunch of lawn and leaf bags, and we went to it.
It all counts, right?
Running around the backyard jumping in leaf piles; riding bikes, however slowly; hiking, or even strolling, through the woods; collecting shells on the beach; climbing the playground, or hay bales, or rocks… it’s all exercise, and it’s fun!
Someday soon, we’ll get our acts together, and we’ll let them try soccer/ karate/dance. For now, though, we do a little of everything, as long as it’s fun.