Mom's Fitness

First of all let me tell you how proud I am of you for wanting to be a Fit Mom. I know it is hard enough to get our kids to school, soccer games, basketball practice, dance lessons and youth groups and then to have time to fit in time for ourselves. Doing this is extremely important if we want to be good Moms. Not only do we function better, have more energy, look good and set a good example when we are taking time for fitness in our lives but we will feel much less stressed. As I said we are a good example to our kids and it is important to keep fit and eat healthy. As you know our kids are watching what we do. I have noticed a change in my kids in what they eat. They are constantly asking me "Mom, is this a protein, is it a vegetable, is it good for me"? The other day I offered my little boy who is in 3rd grade an ice cream cone at McDonald's and he turned me down, telling me that he had already had his dessert for the day (a cinnamon roll at school). Wow!, was I not only surprised, but impressed with his choice. I think it is important to explain to our children that a diet does not have to be a plan to lose weight, but a way of eating that is healthy.

On Sunday, when I make up a portion of my meals for the week, I also cut up fresh vegetables and fruit and put them in Ziploc dishes in my refrigerator for my kids to snack on. There are always cheese squares, yogurt, cottage cheese, sugar free Jell-O, pudding and fruit juice popsicle to choose from in my refrigerator or freezer. In the cupboards there are crackers, pretzels, bread sticks, flavored rice cakes, granola bars and popcorn for my kids to choose from for snack time. As examples of what I like to have on hand for me and my husband, I try to have such things as cut up strips of chicken cooked on the George Foreman Grill (which I could not live without), steamed brown rice and vegetables, all the salad mix and veggies to go in, fat free dressings (I love the Lighthouse brand) tuna and salmon. Having this food prepared on Sunday makes it much easier to prepare the meals during the week and it also supplies healthy snacks to have on hand. It really does make staying on track and eating healthy a lot easier if when you prepare the food ahead of time.

Another suggestion is to take a small cooler with you to have in the front seat if you are as busy a Mom as I am and seem to be always on the go. I pack the cooler in the morning when I make my kid's their lunches. I usually put my rice and chicken mixed together (like a rice bowl) and a protein bar, rice cakes or plain popcorn in there to give me a meal and a snack. That way if I can't get home I don't have to stop at a fast food place or go without a meal. Hope these suggestions will help keep you on track and give you some new ideas.

Fitness in our house is a family commitment. We have chosen not to get cable or satellite television and instead have put our energies into physical activity, individually and as a family. My husband and I spend more quality time together and with our children. Soap operas, sports center, and cartoons have been replaced for the better good of the family. My children read, play board games and do more physical activities. This sacrifice was a family decision four years ago.

Obesity Among Children
Alvin Poussaint, M.D.

Obesity Epidemic
It's not "cool" to be fat, but that has not prevented an obesity epidemic from occurring among America's youth. Childhood obesity increased from 5 percent in 1964 to about 13 percent in 1994. Today, it is about 20 percent – and rising.

Excessive time spent watching television, using the computer, and playing video games is partly to blame for this escalating rate. Children, on average, spend up to five to six hours a day involved in these sedentary activities. Perhaps it wouldn't matter if they were sufficiently active at other times, but most of them aren't.

To make matters worse, children are bombarded with well-crafted TV ads from fast-food chains and other purveyors of high-fat, high-sugar meals and snacks. A recent study reported that two-to-six-year-olds who watch television are more likely to choose food products advertised on TV than children who do not watch such commercials. These highly effective advertising campaigns, combined with a physically inactive lifestyle, have produced a generation of kids who are at high risk for obesity-associated medical conditions.

The major health threat is the early development of Type 2 diabetes (adult onset), particularly in children with a family history of the disease. Doctors are reporting a surge in young adolescents developing Type 2 diabetes – which can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, stroke, limb amputations, and blindness. People who develop diabetes in adolescence face a diminished quality of life and shortened life span, particularly if the disease progresses untreated. It's a scary prospect for our children but, in many cases, obesity and diabetes are preventable.

What Parents Can Do
When children are spending most of their free time sitting in front of televisions and computers, they are not outside running, jumping or engaging in team sports that would keep their weight down. Parents need to set limits on the time their children are engaged in passive activities. Pediatricians recommend restricting children to one to two hours per day on TV and computers combined – though older children may need additional time for learning activities.

Parental involvement remains the most important key to our children's healthy diets. Programs to educate parents about nutrition are essential. Fast foods should be consumed only in moderation. Caregivers, who are often busy and harried, must avoid the temptation to whisk their kids into fast-food restaurants or to pick up fast food for dinner at home. Changing eating habits and lifestyles is not easy, but the health benefit for our children is a wonderful payoff for parents willing to take on the task.

Here are important things parents can do to curtail the obesity epidemic among children:

• Limit TV viewing and time on the computer to one or two hours per day.
• Encourage participation in physical activity and sports.
• Curtail visits to fast-food restaurants.
• Provide nutritious, well-balanced, low-calorie, and low-fat meals.
• Limit the availability of high-fat and high-sugar snacks in your home.

This is a link to a very valuable site. You can find all kinds of articles regarding children and exercise, different ways to exercise and videos and/or equipment to buy for children's exercise and sports.

Click here: Fitness and Kids-Exercise equipment, youth sports training, exercise videos and more!

Get Your Child's Weight On Track All The Tools You Need To Succeed!


Holidays bring special family activity times. We call them traditions. Here are some of our traditions and ideas.


We have a Halloween fairy that comes and if the kids want to pick five pieces of candy out and leave the rest in their pumpkin on the dresser for the Halloween fairy to take she usually leaves them $5.00 so they can buy a new toy or put their money in savings. My kids get quite excited and are all for it! Also, on Halloween we choose to go to the relatives homes and our church where they have a party. That way we know our kids are safe and in a controlled fun environment.


During the Christmas season, it is always fun to bake cookies with my children. My kids just love to help bake. I just try to keep the dough in the bowl and not all over their hands and cute little faces. :O) I also give baskets full of nuts, oranges, apples and flavored tea. It makes a great healthy holiday gift for friends. Have the kids help decorate a star ornament and attach a tag that reads:

Here's a Magical Christmas Star with a tradition old and true
May it bring you warmth and love from our home to you.

Now and everyday until Christmas find someone in your home and secretly do a deed of love your identity won't be known.

And when the secret act is done place the star upon their bed. They in turn
do a secret deed for another, it is said.

And like the star so long ago lit the sky for all to see
May this star bring light and joy to your lovely family!!

This idea came from my sister in law.
Tradition is important because it will make for memories that always stand out in your children's minds. Usually the day after Thanksgiving, we load up the snowmobiles and drive up into the mountains to cut down the perfect Christmas tree. When we get home, we put on Christmas music and decorate the house and set up the tree. Family time is exceptionally important during the Holidays.


On New Year's Eve day, we like to make our own party hats using construction paper, glue, stickers, foil, feathers and sequins. We make home-made noise makers by putting beans, beads, or rice in a clear cup. The beans are then taped to another cup with colored tape. The kids then decorate the outside of the cups. This has saved replacing my pots and pans each year. The boys always get carried away when banging my pans together. We usually go to a family gathering and play games. We have a lot of yummy but healthy appetizers to help bring in the New Year. Then on New Year's Day we like to do a family activity like play in the snow or go snowmobiling. I also like to discuss with my kids what we can improve on for the New Year. After all, goals are so much a part of our lives and should be shared with our children.


I suggest leaving little love notes around the house (under a pillow, on a bathroom mirror, pinned on a favorite stuffed animal or in a lunch box) help to let your child know how special they are to you and how much you love them.

Here is a cute craft idea I read from Family Fun Magazine.
Sweet Temptations

Playing card (hearts, of course)
2- 8 inch pipe cleaners (red)
Construction paper (red)
Googly eyes

*Use the thumbtack to poke holes for arms and legs 1 inch from the top and 1/2 inch from the bottom of card. Arms-fit the ends of one pipe cleaner through the upper holes from the back of card. Fit the other pipe cleaner through the lower holes for legs. Bend the ends to shape feet. For head, cut a heart out of construction paper. Glue on googly eyes and draw a nose and mouth. Then, glue the head to the card. Finally, wrap one arm around the lollipop. Write a message on a mini card and slip it in the card's free hand.

On Valentine's Day, I like to paint hearts on both my daughter's and my own fingernails.
Have your kids sign the grandparent's cards with their own thumb prints so as to form a heart!

Check back and I will have new ideas for Easter.

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