Walking along a trail with a good friend this weekend, during one of our ladies hikes, we started talking about our kids nutrition. Stepping carefully over wet rocks and hoisting ourselves over down trees, we agreed how important it is for our kids to have great nutrition, but be able to enjoy their food as well. It was one of those conversations that made me so thankful for the part of the world we live in. We live in a place where our kids can easily play and where we also have great options for delicious, healthy food. When I saw this video, it really struck a cord in me: Play, imagination, friendship, creativity. It’s what we want so badly for our kids and they can’t do those things well, if they aren’t being fueled well.
Here are 5 things that I’ve personally found help our kids stay fueled for a life full of play:
- Have nutritious snacks ready to go. Active kids are going to be hungry. Think ahead and have healthy snacks ready to grab and serve.
- Allow them to have options, but not too many. I usually give my kids 2-3 options. This way they have some control, but ultimately they’re eating things I feel good about feeding them.
- Have regular’ish meal and snack times! Our kids thrive when they know what to expect. They don’t need a constantly open pantry or refrigerator, either. Encourage complete meal and snack times and then let them get back to playing until a few hours later. Constant snacking isn’t healthy for their teeth and it’s not a great habit to bring into adulthood.
- Play with them and then fuel up with them! Did you know play is disappearing at home, in school and in communities. 70% of moms played outside when they were kids, 31% of their kids play outside today. Isn’t that awful? Nothing makes a kid hungrier for healthy food, than a day of activity.
- Speak kindly about food, health and body image with your kids. To raise kids who appreciate food, who can enjoy it and also know how to make good choices, we must never shame or make them feel bad. As parents we can set them up for success by taking the lead, giving them healthy choices and then speaking positively about health, activity and nutrition.
Balanced and active play lays the foundation for a skilled, healthy, resilient and successful society. Over the summer, when we headed out for a day of activity, we often threw a few CLIF Kid® bars into our picnic basket. CLIF Kid® makes nutritious snacks from organic ingredients that are specially-crafted for kids’ developing taste buds and active lives. For more ideas for nutritious snacking and lots of playing, visit the CLIF Kid Facebook page.
CLIF Kid Zbars are:
- Made with organic ingredients
- Have important nutrients for active kids
- Appropriate portion size for kids in flavors they love
- Have no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors (or synthetic preservatives)
I’d love to hear how you help your kids stay fueled for a life full of play. What foods do they love and what has worked best for your family?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.