You may be mourning the end of those warm summer days, but this new season is perfect to give your family new & fun ways of staying fit to feel great. Our friend Erin Kane, a mother and primary school teacher, has given us some insight into some of the ways she plans on keeping her family healthy and active this fall.
FALL FUN –
There’s no denying that fall is upon us; the sun is setting earlier & days are cooling off. Before the weather gets too frigid, I recommend getting your family set on establishing some healthy habits such as incorporating more fresh, greenhouse grown fruits & veggies into your daily diet. This way, it will be easier to maintain an active lifestyle in the frosty winter days ahead. I know how tempting it can be to cozy up on the couch and watch TV when it cools down, so set yourself up for success! Don’t succumb to that urge too often or you’ll cheat yourself out of some of the best outdoor activities of the year. Throw on a sweater and get out there!
Here are some easy ways to keep your family moving this fall:
- Walk to the nearest park instead of driving there
- Take an evening bike ride or rollerblade after dinner
- Play a game of tennis; it’s the perfect fall sport
- Play catch outside & see how long you can go without dropping the ball
- Head to the nearest open field & have a family soccer game
Stay inside, but stay active! Try some of these activities:
- Head over to a local entertainment center for some rock climbing or mini golf
- Hit up an indoor waterpark & enjoy time in the water
- At-home activities are a great option! Think dance parties, musical chairs, or an obstacle course
No matter how or where you are moving, make sure to keep everyone fueled with simple, nutritious snacking items like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers that can easily be enjoyed on the go or cozied up on the couch after an activity.
LET THE KIDS HELP PLAN –
It is essential to involve your kids in planning meals & activities. You want kids to learn how to form healthy habits, so they can continue to live them into adulthood. Additionally, kids are often more engaged and excited about something if they’ve had a hand in planning it.
For meals and snacks, I like to let my kiddos each choose which vegetable they want to snack on for our weekly grocery list. Having nutrient-dense and easy to grab-and-go snacks readily available in the fridge helps to ensure that healthy choices are easy to make!
For exercise, try to center it around play! You and your kids can brainstorm ways to turn games they already play into more fitness-forward activities. This can work in a lot of ways, but framing an activity as a competition is a tried-and-true way to get kids excited.
It’s recommended that kids get a full hour of exercise a day, but I find it helpful to break this time up into smaller chunks like 15 minute time increments. Kids can get frustrated and give up if the activity is too physically demanding or challenging, so keep things simple & appropriate for their skill level. If you need a hand coming up with activities, check these guides out!
Whatever you choose to do with your family to keep them active—stick to it! It can be easy to push fitness to the sidelines when you’re a busy parent, but a tired kid is a happy kid! The same is true with adults; if you regularly exercise you will sleep better and be in a better mood. Do your whole family a favor and give their bodies what they need!
HEALTHY EATING HACKS –
For many families, including mine, fall ushers in a much busier schedule. My girls & I are back to school and extra-curricular activities are kicking into high gear. It can get hectic! But making time to eat well is an essential part of the equation—for both parents and kids.
I find it essential for our family to eat lots of fruits & veggies as we approach the colder months. Greenhouse grown produce is essential in keeping mealtimes & snacks fresh because it’s always in season! Snacking tomatoes, like Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, are the perfect way to give our immune systems a little extra oomph as we head into classrooms again – I love how high they are in Vitamin C! Tomatoes are also high in iron, which is a particularly important mineral for women and children.
Super hydrating and crunchy, cucumbers are also a fave in our house! Easy to dip Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers are a number one request for lunches and after-school snacks! Cucumbers are also high in Vitamin K which helps with bone health, heart health, & cognitive functioning so they are super important for our family.
Apart from healthy snacking, nutritious meals provide an essential foundation for your busy lives! It isn’t easy finding time to put together lunches and dinners on a daily basis. This is why you should consider meal prepping! Putting aside a few hours on the weekend to plan & shop for the week ahead keeps our schedules from boiling over. This is a great guide for Effective Family Meal Planning if you don’t know where to start. So get to planning and get those veggies in!
MAKE THE MOST OUT OF FALL –
This might seem overwhelming. Feeding and entertaining kids is challenging, even if you do it for a living! But trust me, the commitment is worth it, in both the short-term & long run. Fuel your family with healthy food and fun activities. Try new snacking options like the personal-sized Solara™ Mini Melons to keep your kids fuelled! There is no waste and the kids love the size!
Make the most of these sunny fall days and set up the family for success with good, healthy habits. As days get colder and darker in the coming months, it is essential to stick to these habits and support your mental and physical health. Give your family the tools it needs to have a fun and active fall this year! You’ve got this.