4 STAR GOALS For A FIT-YEAR!

Make 2014 A FIT YEAR With 4 Simple Star Goals!
Don’t take the typical approach of most people! 

Making a long list of 20 goals, getting too overwhelmed and then giving up!

Start 2014 by following these simple 4 Star Goals and it will make a huge difference in you and your child’s health throughout the year!

 

 

 

 

 

STAR Goal #1

Eat 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day

What does a total of 5 servings look like?

3 servings of vegetables + 2 servings of fruit = 5

2 servings of vegetables + 3 servings of fruit = 5

Or any combination that equals 5!

A quick cheat sheet to measure your serving sizes!

Vegetables:

1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)

1/2 cup of other vegetables

1/2 cup of vegetable juice.

Fruits:

1 medium fruit (medium is defined as the size of a baseball)

1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit

1/2 cup juice

 

STAR Goal #2

Limit Screen Time to 2 Hours per day

 What is screen time?

Screen time is when you are watching TV, using the computer, phone, or other touch screen devices for games or social media outside of school or homework. Our youth today spends an average of 7 hours of screen time a day!

Limit screen time to 2 hours OR cut down on screen time by at least 1 hour and incorporate physical activity, music, reading, or arts and crafts in it’s place!

 

STAR Goal #3 

Exercise for 60 minutes a day

60 Minutes a day you must play and be active! 

This goes for parents and kids! Remember that 60 minutes does not have to be done all at once, it can be done throughout the day and equal 60 minutes by bedtime!

Some examples of daily activity:

Day 1: 30 min bike ride + 15 min Active Wii Game + 15 min walk after dinner = 60

Day 2: 20 min flag football game + 20 minute KFIT Health DVD + 20 baseball pass = 60

Day 3: 40 min hike with family + 10 min bike ride after school + 10 min swim = 60

Be sure to keep track and hit a goal of 60 minutes everyday!

 

STAR Goal #4

Consume Zero Sugary Drinks 

(water and low fat milk instead)

Why are sugary drinks bad?

Sugary drinks are considered one of the leading causes of weight gain for kids and adults these days! We are drinking our calories and storing that sugar as fat! If you set one goal this year, it should be to eliminate SODA from your home and your diet altogether! Avoid bottled drinks with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving! Most soda has about 32 grams per serving and other drinks like Gatorade are almost the same around 20grams per serving. WATCH OUT!!

 

  • Natural fruit juices should be not be a daily habit and limited to 1 serving size of 8oz when consumed. Low fat milk is a much better choice because it has protein, fat, and vitamins kids need.

  • Water is always your best option for continuous hydration throughout the day! Adding lemon, lime or orange slices will make it extra fun and delicious!

 

Be sure to improve your fluid intake but cut down on sugary drinks and eventually you can eliminate them altogether!

Happy FIT-YEAR,

KFIT Health, LLC
Dr. Pat and Anna
GET READY GET SET & GET FIT!

8 Ideas To Eat Healthy On A Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t listen to people that say you can’t afford healthy food.  Here are some tips to eat healthy without breaking the bank.

1. Eat at home

Plan meals for the entire week and then shop with a list and try to stick to it.  Eating out, whether it’s at a restaurant or picking up fast-food, is much more expensive than eating at home. But, if you don’t have the food at home it is much easier to just go out to eat. So, plan those meals!

2. Buy food in season

Fruits and vegetables are much less expensive when they are in season and growers have extra food that they need to sell quickly.  Also, they usually taste better then, too!   Whether it’s strawberries in the Spring or sweet potatoes in the Fall, it will help you mix up what you eat and keep your taste buds and your wallet happy.

3. Buy on sale

Look at the advertisements from the grocery stores and pick out the healthy items that are on sale.  Again, it takes planning but will save a few extra dollars each week.

4. Buy in bulk

This works especially well for family packs of chicken, fish and meat.  You can freeze what you don’t use or double the recipe and have leftovers. That can save a lot of time during the week because you’ve already done most of the work.

5. Plant your own

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be fun and cheap!  A little effort pays off financially and nutritionally.  You can even just start with a potted tomato plant in the Spring and see where that takes you.

6. Go meatless  (or at least less)

Consider using other sources of protein such as beans as your source of protein for a meal. Even reducing the amount of meat or chicken you use can really reduce the price of a meal.  For example, you can find healthy chicken vegetable soup recipes that require much smaller portions of chicken per person than other chicken meals.

7. Tips for eating out

Just because many of the recommendations above involve eating at home, sometimes it is just fun to eat out!  Here are a few tips when you eat out:

- Try to find 2 for 1 coupons that many restaurants offer

- Take advantage of early bird specials

- Choose water instead of ordering a soda and save a few dollars

- Split a meal.  Many meals have large portions and sharing a salad and main course with a friend is usually plenty of food for both of you!

8. Plan

They key to achieving all of the above goals is to Plan, Plan, Plan!!  It does take a little effort to eat healthy on a budget but it absolutely can be done.  Go for it!

In Good Health,

Dr. Pat

Drinking Your Way To Obesity?

Recently, I had a 9 year old girl visit my office for a physical exam. She had gained some weight over the last year and I had to go into detective mode to figure out what might be the cause of the problem. She had been eating about the same, fairly healthy, but got into a “soda” habit. She was having at least one soda a day. Aha! I believe we are getting somewhere! Some people might think, “What’s the big deal? It’s just one a day”. But, look at the ingredients in most sodas. After water, high fructose corn syrup is the next ingredient. High fructose corn syrup is one of the code names for sugar. Sugar has a lot of nicknames: high fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, sucrose, syrup. Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages play a huge role in our epidemic of childhood obesity. A 20 oz soda has about 16 teaspoons of sugar and about 250 calories! It is recommended by the American Heart Association that children get only 3-4 teaspoons of sugar a day. Teens should get no more than 5-9 teaspoons a day. Ne soda and you are over that limit. Unfortunately, the average American teenager takes in about 34 teaspoons of sugar a day and a lot of that comes from sugar-sweetened beverages.

The interesting thing about high fructose corn syrup is that it can fool your body. Unlike nutrient rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats and grains, our bodies don’t feel satisfied. Medical studies have shown that if you drink a soda with a meal, you actually don’t eat less calories. So, those extra 250 calories are just added into your day. After one year of 250 extra calories a day, that’s about a 25 lb weight gain in a year for adults! And those calories are “empty” calories. What that means is that they don’t have as many nutrients as other foods or drinks such as milk but yet they are a part of your calories for the day.

Even seemingly healthy drinks such as sport drinks can have a lot of sugar. Many have about 8 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Look at the portion size on sport drinks. You may think you are only getting 120 calories, but there might be 2 servings in the bottle. For children playing participating in physical activities, water is the drink that is recommended.

What about juice? Juice has some vitamins such as Vitamin A and C. However, many juices have the pulp removed. By removing the pulp, you are taking away the healthy fiber that helps our bodies process the juice itself. Better to eat the fruit and drink water is what I like to say! A small amount of juice is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But, no more than 4-6 ounces for kids 1-7 years old and 8-12 ounces for kids 7-18 years old.

What should kids be drinking? Answer: Water and low-fat milk!

You might wonder about milk since it has calories. Why is a 250 calorie glass of milk different than a 250 calorie glass of soda? Milk is a nutrient-rich drink. It has many nutrients such as protein and calcium which help build up our muscles and bones. And, our body becomes satisfied with those calories, it becomes a part of the calories we consume for the day, and we will decrease the amounts of other foods we eat.

For kids, water can be very boring. Often our kids today are looking for some flavor in their drink. What can we do to make water more exciting? Try to add some fresh fruits to a pitcher of water and leave that in refrigerator. Most fruits add great flavor such as lemon, lime, strawberry, and pineapples. Some fruits and vegetables work great too, like cucumber or mint.

I challenge everyone to be a detective! What’s in YOUR drink? Look for those hidden sugars and avoid them as much as possible. Remember: Drink water and low-fat milk instead!

Dr. Pat on TV!

Dr. Pat talks with Taylor Baldwin on PRIMETIME U-T TV! She discusses the 4 easy ways to prevent childhood obesity. Dr. Pat also  explains the hidden sugars in foods we THINK are healthy and why reading food labels is a key element in avoiding weight gain!

What parents buy at the grocery store is critical to nutritional health. If parents are taking good care of themselves nutritionally, there is a good chance the kids will eat healthy too.

Guess what percentage of kids grow up to be overweight adults? IT’s SHOCKING!

Watch this short clip and get all the details.

WATCH NOW!

GOT MILK? Better Yet, GOT HEALTHY BONES?

Active Kids Build Strong Bones

I just loved the “GOT MILK” campaign that caught so much attention for the milk industry and is still pretty popular today. It reminds me of my grandparents diary farm in Hindsale, MA where I spent my childhood summers drinking milk in the diary before it was shipped off to the big companies for resale. I can remember how fresh and cold it was as my Aunt Ginny scooped it out with a tin cup from the churning barrel that cleans it.

 

But drinking fresh milk wasn’t all I did at the farm. We used to pick the eggs out of the chicken coop, pick corn from the fields, bail hay onto the wagons, shovel cow manure in the barn, ride on the tracker, go crawfishing in the river! Man it was fun. Didn’t feel like work back then but now that I think of it, my grandparents were getting some great free labor!

 

In any case, all that time I wasn’t thinking about how good it was for my health, what a strong foundation I was building for my body or how my healthy habits were already being set for the rest of my life. It felt great to be involved in the activities of the farm life, to be exhausted at the end of the day, and feel excited for what would come tomorrow.

I pray that I’ll be blessed with kids someday and can give them an equally fun and active childhood experience. One where activity becomes a staple of life, not something practiced on occasion.

Not only is living an active lifestyle critical for developing lifelong habits from an early age, it helps to develop strong bones!

As we age we begin to lose bone mineral density because we don’t naturally produce as much calcium and it’s taken from our bones. Luckily, our kids don’t have that problem; they are producing plenty of calcium at a young age to build solid healthy bones!

However, Calcium is not the only factor that will determine bone mineral density.  Weight bearing activities are also a major contributor to healthy strong bones.

Kids who are sedentary or inactive are at risk of losing bone mineral density and not developing adequate bone strength.  This can lead to early deformation of the skeleton such as kyphosis (forward slouching of the upper back), or risk of broken bones including the spine. Without a solid bone structure, kids are less likely to develop a strong and balance muscular structure and will be even more likely to stay inactive and sedentary throughout their lives.

Weight bearing activities include anything that challenges us to fight the force of gravity below us:

Walking…..Running….Skipping….Jumping…..Hopping…..Hiking….Weight lifting

The activities that give us no weight bearing exercise are things like playing on the computer, video games, reading, watching TV, or sleeping.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 exercises a day to encourage weight-bearing exercises for kids as well as adults.  Weight bearing exercises will help kids build strong healthy bones as well as strength, coordination, and aerobic conditioning! This is a win-win way of creating a generation of stronger and healthier kids.

Exercise Descriptions

  1. Hop Scotch: Start with feet shoulder width apart.  Alternate by jumping off both feet simultaneously and landing on only 1 foot and then back to landing on two feet!
  2. Jumping Jacks: Start with feet together and arms to your sides, jump off the ground to bring your feet shoulder width apart and hands above your head, then jump again to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat.
  3. Push-ups: Hands underneath your shoulders and feet together. Keep your body straight hovering the ground and slowly lower towards the floor and come back up!

EXTRA TIP FOR BONE HEALTH!!

Pediatricians recommend water or low fat milk for kids versus soda’s and sugary sweetened drinks because it’s certainly better for the bones. Sugars and other elements in soda actually steal calcium from bones. Train kids early to avoid these habits. 

GET READY, GET SET & GET FIT!

Anna Renderer