A recent study found that “crunch time” is an important time for families to spend together making healthy choices. But many busy parents report the challenge of having time to supervise their children during the afternoon, making it hard to be sure they eat well and get enough exercise.
The activities that keep families busy (like commuting, extracurricular activities, and making dinner) do not have to be distractions from exercising and eating well. Even small efforts to get the whole family engaged in healthy activities can add up to a big difference in children’s risk of obesity. Start small by making one of the activities your family already does during “crunch time” a little healthier.
- Commuting: as the weather warms up, consider picking the kids up from school on foot or by bike – you might even end up inspiring an alternative school bus of families who walk home from school.
- Extracurricular activities: put the ACTIVE into activity. Sign the kids up for an activity that gets them moving and keeps them interested after school. If they are already involved in sports or other active clubs, pack a healthy snack for the kids to eat to help them recharge after a long day of school and sports. Keep it simple and toss a piece of fruit into their bag so a healthy option will be there when they need it.
- Making (and eating) dinner together: getting dinner ready for a hungry family every night can be a challenge. Get everyone involved in preparing a healthy dinner before sitting down to eat it together. Cooking with parents may inspire children to try new foods and make healthy choices for themselves when eating outside the home. Need a recipe? We’ve got plenty right here.
Being healthy and having fun together as a family is a wonderful way to end the day!