The Key to Fit Kids? A Little Healthy Competition

dv1811014It can be tough to get kids excited about being active or eating healthy foods (yay, broccoli!). But one easy way to get kids more into staying fit is to involve a little healthy family competition! Here’s how it works: Pick a challenge, a time frame (you could do a week or even an entire month) and a prize. At the end of the challenge, tally the results to figure out who won. Then pick another challenge and start again! The keys are to get everyone to participate (yes, even parents) and to pick rewards that aren’t food-related, like a little allowance boost, getting out of a chore or picking a fun family activity.

Here are some fun competition ideas to get you started:

  • Who can help the most with dinner? According to a study from the University of Alberta, kids who help cook eat healthier.Ask your kids to help prepare dinner and see who can do the most without creating a mess in the kitchen.
  • Who can walk the most? Give everyone in the family a pedometer—you can buy a FitBit or use an old-fashioned pedometer (most are fairly cheap)—and see who can tally the most steps in a week.
  • Who can watch the least TV? Research conducted at Harvard first linked TV watching to obesity more than 25 years ago. Since then, more in depth research has confirmed the link between screen time and obesity in kids and adults alike. Have a competition to see who watches the least amount of TV in a week and use the time you would otherwise spend zoning out to play family games or go on walks together.
  • Who can move the most during commercials? When you do end up watching TV, make a rule that there is no sitting during commercials. Instead, everyone must do a wacky dance! Give a chore as an incentive: whoever dances last has to take out the trash or feed the dog.

Are there other effective ways your family utilizes to get up and move? Let others know about additional tips by sharing the details in the comments below.

This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan

 

 

Photo credit: Province of British Columbia

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