Tag Archives: Free Ways To Get Exercise With Your Children

Keeping fit in the family



Like diet, it should be a four-letter word.

Tell anyone they need to get some exercise and images of sweating for hours at the gym sends shivers down their spine.

Or at least it does for me.

Which is why, with the weather improving and the nights getting lighter, I like to think of fun ways to get fitter and healthier. I prefer exercise where we don’t even realise we’re doing it.

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Top tips to keep little ones healthy (without them noticing!)

blake on tummy

Ever since he was born, Blake has been a little chubby thing, with one hell of an appetite.

And being our second child, we were more relaxed about his diet, knowing that Brodie never came to any harm from the odd treat.

Now he’s about to start school. And Blake is a very different build to Brodie, who was always tall and thin.

My baby boy is going to be tall too. But how do I put it?

He’s got a…. fuller figure which may need to be monitored to make sure he grows upwards, more than outwards, as he gets older.


I blame us. We didn’t police his eating habits as much as we did with Brodie.

The result is that he doesn’t like all the healthy foods his big brother enjoys. He won’t eat salad, his fruit choices are limited to apples and bananas, and the only vegetable he likes (apart from potatoes) is broccoli.

But I don’t think it’s too late. He’s 4 and about to start school in August.

A huge part of his day will be about learning – and his food will be limited to the playtime snack and packed lunch I provide for him.

When he’s at home, I’ll resort to tricks to keep him active and healthy, to grow up strong and eliminate the puppy fat he’s carrying now.

It’s not going to be easy, but there are a few easy wins that are fun, effective and best of all, they leave the finances in good condition too.

I’ll be following these top tips to sneaky ways of keeping my little one healthy.


Plan fun days out on a regular basis

IMG_2911Having fun in the great outdoors is a good way of getting kids away from the lure of the TV and video games. Plan different activities for at least once a week and build in a level of exercise. Take the dog for a walk or have a trip to the park to clamber over climbing frames and run some of that excess energy off.

These are all cost free and easy to schedule in. Mix this up with trips at the weekend to the beach for a spot of beachcombing or even swimming if the weather is nice, or head off to the countryside to take a walk through forests and fields. You can even visit a ‘pick your own’ farm to harvest some food for a healthy dinner.


Take part in sports

As a child, there was nothing I enjoyed more than team sports, being part of the school netball and hockey squads. There’s something exciting about playing together for each other, especially when the competitive side comes out. The best way to introduce this into your child’s spare time is to try things informally so grab a football and head to the nearest park for a kick about.

If you find they enjoy this then there are plenty of options open with school teams, local clubs and 5 a side centres available throughout the country. There are a number of tennis courts in parks, as well as basketball nets so take advantage of the local green spaces to get the kids involved.


Get into the kitchen

One of the best ways to get children interested in the food they eat is to get them cooking. Not only is it a fun way to spend time together, but it will also help them to get thinking about where their dinner comes from. Most importantly, a child is going to get excited by the prospect of creating something, whether that means sitting in front of the oven watching a cake rise or waiting to see how their healthy pizza has turned out. The fact that they’ve made the food will mean they’ll be more likely to trust the dish and try it.


Have fun with food

Having fun with foods is a great way to get children more enthusiastic about eating healthily. I’m not talking about hosting food fights here, more fun games you can play, such as giving foods funny names or making smiley faces on the plate from tomatoes, avocado and cucumber for example. Make them sample new flavours by doing a blindfolded taste test game – they’re more likely to try something new and enjoy it if they’re not put off by its appearance- especially if it’s green! Blake came to love broccoli as mini trees scattered across his plate.


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