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Parents Corner - May Newsletter 

Welcome to our May Newsletter. 
We have scanned the net to find topics we believe will help parents raising young athletes. No parent is perfect, however, here are some topics that might help you on you way to perfection.

Fitness For Kids: Getting your children off the couch

Getting Children To Eat Right

Enjoy your reading and don’t forget if you have a topic you would like covered e-mail it to jason@readyrugby.com.au

Fitness for kids: Getting your children off the couch

Children often have a natural tendency to play hard. Here's how to direct your child's energy into a lifelong love of physical activity.

For many children, biking to the playground and playing kickball in the backyard have given way to watching television, playing video games and spending hours online. But it's never too late to get your kids off the couch. Use these simple tips to give your kids a lifelong appreciation for activities that strengthen their bodies.

"Every child is wired differently," Dr. Laskowski says. "We all have certain strengths and characteristics that influence our interests. The key is finding things that your children like to do."

Promote activity, not exercise
To keep your kids interested in fitness, make it fun.
    •    Be silly. Let younger children see how much fun you can have while being active. Run like a gorilla. Walk like a spider. Hop like a bunny. Stretch like a cat.
    •    Get in the game. Play catch, get the whole family involved in a game of tag or have a jump-rope contest. Try classic movement games such as Simon says or red  light, green light. If you don't remember the rules, make up your own!
    •    Count your chores. You might even make it a friendly challenge. Who can pull the most weeds out of the vegetable garden? Who can collect the most litter in the neighbourhood? Who can shovel the craziest path in the snow?
    •    Try an activity party. For your child's next birthday, schedule a bowling party, take the kids to a climbing wall or set up relay races in the backyard.
    •    Put your kids in charge. Let each child take a turn choosing the activity of the day or week. Batting cages, bowling and fast-food play areas all count. What matters is that you're doing something active.

"Incorporating physical activity into your children's lives does much more than promote a healthy weight," Dr. Laskowski says. "It sets the foundation for a lifetime of fitness and good health."

For the full article go to www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/FL00030

Getting Children To Eat Right

How to Get Children to Make Healthy Food Choices and Keep FitBy carefully following these five tips, along with having a determination and focus on a healthy viewpoint about food, parents can help ensure their children will grow up healthy and fit.

Set the Right Example
Children learn what they live, making it vital that parents set the right example with their own food choices. If parents are routinely eating and snacking on unhealthy foods, how can children be expected to do any differently? Setting the right example to get children to eat right requires parental self-discipline. Parents need to provide loving and firm guidance in making healthy and wise choices regarding food and snacks.

Remember the Five Food Groups
Studies on nutrition show that parents who consume a healthy portion of foods from the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and other proteins, and dairy products) on a daily basis are much more likely to get children to make better food choices and greatly reduce the chances of developing obesity and many other health risks. Remembering to introduce foods from the five food groups at an early age helps develop their taste for healthy foods rather than a taste for salty or sugary treats.

Choose Healthy Snacks
Choose healthy snacks for children such as low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables with tasty dips. Keep healthy snacks well-stocked at home, readily available and easily accessible for children to grab. Save cookies and other sugar-coated treats for an occasional sweet treat or special occasions. Never get into the habit of giving children cookies or other sugary-treats when the family meal is being prepared or is almost ready to be served. Consider offering a couple of bites of the vegetables or salad already planned for the meal to tide them over.

Children Need Exercise
Children need to be moving their bodies and be getting the right amount of exercise regularly. Schedule family walks after mealtime or family outings to the park where children can run and jump, rather than spending hours idling in front of the television set or playing video games. Arrange for children to participate in after-school activities such as baseball, basketball or tennis where children can learn that exercise can also be fun.

Provide Necessary Discipline
Children typically do not like changes being made to their routines, so expect children to express their dislike to newly implemented changes in the family meal plan. Calmly explain that “this is what we’re having for dinner”, and if children adamantly refuse to eat the planned meal, simply cover it and save it for when they say they’re hungry. Remember, your home is not a cafeteria-style restaurant where children dictate what they will or will not eat. When the child later says they’re hungry, simply say “Well that’s good because I saved your dinner for you”, and then reheat as needed.

Following these five tips will help to get children to eat right, thus providing them proper guidance and parental example towards developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with food.

For more reading go to http://parentingresources.suite101.com/article.cfm/getting_children_to_eat_right