Spring is here and we all want to get outside and get active! A healthy lifestyle includes many components, such as, keeping our body fit, learning new skills, and making nutritious choices in what we eat. As a busy family, it’s often hard to keep all our health goals on track. We can provide some guidance and ideas on how to create healthy goals but, ultimately, try to work together to see what works best for you. As parents, we can act as role models and hopefully our children will learn from a young age that healthy choices help them feel better and play better!
Let’s begin with ways to get our bodies moving! Exercise will help our body stay strong so that we can do all the things we like, and it helps us feel great. Here are some fun ways for kids and families to get active:
- Get a group of children together and go play outside. How about tag or hide-and-go-seek?
- Grab your sports equipment and play your favourite sport at the park with your friends and family … baseball, basketball, soccer are all great activities for a group of people!
- Ride your bike, scooter, or walk to school or to local spots in your community. Leave the car behind and get some exercise.
- Don’t forget your chores! Doing work around the house gets you moving … help with the yard work (raking), do some gardening (pick out some new flowers or veggies to grow), cleaning inside the house is good too (folding laundry, vacuuming).
If you would like to start a new training routine, such as running, then we recommend that you sit down with an adult before the summer begins to prepare a running schedule that will be appropriate for your age, experience and your goals for the season. When starting your running season, make sure the distances are manageable and easy, over time you can slowly start setting goals that are tougher to reach. Also try to explore new places and run on different terrains such as hills, grass, and trails. Finally, keep a journal or diary to record what you have done each day to celebrate your progress.
Next up is the importance of learning new skills and keeping our brain active! Try to expose children to a variety of opportunities that will benefit their brain & body:
- learn to play a variety of sports
- play board games
- learn to play a musical instrument
- engage in painting or drawing classes
- try drama lessons
- learn to cook at a young age
By learning and by doing various actions, we become more confident and experienced and that makes those activities more enjoyable. Learning something new also gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Last, but not least, we need to make sure that we’re feeding our body all the nutrients it needs to keep us moving all day long! With the introduction of the new Canada’s Food Guide, we were thrilled with the addition of the lifestyle change “Cook More Often”. Cooking our own meals at home and as a family is a great place to start. When we control what goes into our food, then we can make better choices that benefit our body. Cooking is a great family activity and you can get kids of all ages involved in meal prep.
Age 4-6: children can start with tasks such as washing produce, measuring, mixing, assembling and organizing. We recommend low risk activities and providing supervision while in the kitchen.
Age 7-10: With their quickly developing fine motor skills, this age group is ideal for introducing more challenging roles, such as knife skills and pan work. Also, it’s important to explicitly lay out the safety rules when using this higher risk equipment while still approaching the experience with relaxed energy and encouragement.
Age 11+: This age category has the potential to take on the recipe in its entirety with some supervision. For less experienced tweens, we recommend following the guidelines for the age 7-10 category. Just like the younger age category, explicitly run through the safety rules when using any higher risk equipment and be sure to provide encouragement and support.
So, let’s strive to keep our bodies fit and strong, every day, by keeping active, playing sports and fun games, challenging ourselves to try something new and feeding our bodies with nutritious foods. That sounds like a fabulous recipe for a healthy lifestyle!
We are sharing an easy Rooks to Cooks Recipe Idea to try with your kids! Chef Shai suggests this yummy breakfast recipe to provide fuel for your family before a weekend tournament, game or practice.
Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Egg & Potato Omelette)
Yield: 6-8 Servings
- 700g (1.5 lbs) Yukon gold potatoes (peeled & sliced into ½ cm rounds)
- 1 medium onion, sliced (110g)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (4g)
- 90ml olive oil
- 8 eggs
- 6g salt
- 5g pepper
- Cook the potatoes: Heat the oil in medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and season. Cover the pan with a lid and gently cook for 10 minutes without letting the potatoes brown.
- After 10 minutes, add the onions and cook for another 10 minutes with the lid on. At this point the onions should be soft and slightly clear. Carefully drain the oil from the pan and save it for later.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the warm potatoes and onions and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clean the frying pan. Heat the reserved oil in the pan over low heat. Pour the potato, onion and egg mixture into the pan, shaking the pan to ensure the mix is evenly distributed. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat. After 15 minutes, the mix should be fairly solid but remain SLIGHTLY runny on the very top.
- Time to flip! Using a spatula, loosen the tortilla from the edges. Shake to loosen. Slide the tortilla out of the pan and onto a plate. Carefully put the pan over the plate and flip it back into the pan uncooked side down.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes over low-medium heat. Slide onto a plate and let it cool slightly. Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately.
- Garnish Suggestion: feel free to add some chopped green onions or perhaps some diced tomatoes on top as a garnish. ENJOY!
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