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Ed Ditto
09-21-2010, 07:46 AM
I live near a whitewater river, and the raft guides tell me the average "customer load" in each raft is 100 pounds heavier than it was ten years ago. And I believe it -- it seems the average person has gotten more sedentary, more stressed, more sleep-deprived, and more...well...ignorant about fitness in the last decade.

My wife and I are fitness junkies. I'm an outdoor sports guy (kayaking and mountain biking) and she's a runner. We aren't following a structured "health" curriculum with our six year-old daughter, but it enters into so many elements of our lives together: mealtime discussions about why we eat the way we do, thrice-weekly visits to the gym, organic gardening, etc.

I'm curious to hear how other people handle educating their kids on these issues. And I'm not aware of a structured curriculum on this subject -- maybe I've missed it?

hockeymom
09-21-2010, 09:45 AM
We don't do anything specific either, but we are pretty active as a family and DS loves organized sports as well. Nutrition is a big part of our everyday conversation, mostly stemming from his interest in how and why we do the things we do and eat the things we eat. We are vegetarian with a focus on local and organic food when they are available (because both are difficult to acquire here, we stock up often on trips to Maine). We garden and can and I bake a lot of our daily essentials--bread, crackers, granola etc. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and DS spends much of it with me, either because he's involved or by default by doing work at the kitchen counter.

inmom
09-21-2010, 09:59 AM
We also don't do any formal fitness/nutrition curriculum, as it's just a part of life for us. Hubby and I run 5 K about 4 times a week and walk 5 K the other days (yes, even in the rain or snow some days). My son also runs, and my daughter plays softball. We also try to grow as much as we can of what we eat, so we consume a ton of fruits and veggies. Like the other posters, conversations about health just evolve around here.

We are almost NEVER at the doctor's office, and we assume it's because of how we eat and exercise. We also point out to the kids how much $$ that saves!

mommykicksbutt
09-21-2010, 10:07 AM
We do very specific things (in general :) ). Hubby is an MD with 2 specialties, I have a MPH (master's of public health), and have all course work completed for a PhD (in another health related fields). Hubby is a fitness nut and looks great a 55. We are a military family and hubby still has to do the fitness test twice a year and he blows the young uns out of the water. I'm belted in several martial arts in help teach a children's karate class at he gym. Sonny, does aerobics 3 times a week with dad, weight training 3 times a week again with dad, and martial arts 2-3 times a week with me. We also do a lot of walking in our adventures here in Europe (castle exploring). Health, fitness, injury, disease, safety, and nutrition are continuous subjects in our home.

Busygoddess
09-21-2010, 10:28 AM
We are not fitness junkies by any stretch of the imagination, due in part to medical conditions & in part to personality. We do exercise, I just wouldn't consider us fitness junkies. The kids & I do Yoga, Pilates, and some aerobics, we do family walks & hikes, and the kids are very active & regularly run around outside. We play volleyball, catch, badminton, and other games in the back yard. The kids really aren't into sports, thoguh. I mean, they'll play stuff with us or with freinds, but don't want to be on actual teams. In addition to modeling an active lifestyle & making sure they get plenty of exercise, we talk about why it's so important to be active.
We also eat healthy, with much of our food being homemade. The kids love to cook & are constantly helping me in the kitchen. Again, while planning meals & cooking/baking, we talk about why it's important to eat a healthy diet, what a healthy diet really is, why we make certain ingerdient substitutions or changes to recipes, etc.

So, we don't use a curriculum because I really don't see the point in using a curriculum for something that is so easy to teach by daily life & modeling. I have seen Health curricula, though. I was considering using an actual curriculum for High School Health, but ended up deciding against it. I did some research, though & found that there are several Health curriculum options for grade school & jr high. There aren't many at high school level, and I don't think I found any that weren't Christian (at least for the high school level, I didn't really pay attention to the lower grade ones so I'm not sure how many secular options there are).

Mommytutu
09-21-2010, 05:26 PM
My husband and I are "fitness junkies" too! My husband runs marathons, and I'll be running my first half-marathon soon. We bike, kayak, hike/camp, and swim frequently as well.

Our daughter (4) knows that exercise and eating healthy are very important. I put together an informal unit study early in the year to introduce her to the food groups, why what we eat is healthy, and what foods aren't healthy and should only be eaten very occasionally or never. We differentiated between fruits and veggies and read a couple of books on healthy eating. She also helps me in my small potted garden (we live in a townhouse with no property to plant, unfortunately) and we often visit local farms to see how GOOD NATURAL food is grown. She enjoys cooking, and baking with me in the kitchen as well.

All in all, I think fitness and health is best learned through experiencing it. As a family we model the best behaviors we can and while she still has a sweet tooth like no other, I believe that is the best way for her to learn. :)

dbmamaz
09-21-2010, 07:59 PM
Its funny, my husband was always very athletic and i never was, but he's the one whose quite overweight - because he doesnt understand nutrition. He's aged 10 years and stopped excersizing and eats the same amount.

We have a lot of food allergies, and my mom had a degree in nutrition, so we're all about healthy eating as much as we can. I find physical exertion to be extremely uncomfortable. We walk the dog regularly, and i signed me and the boys up for a homeschool family martail arts class. I am so tired i cant move after each one, but I know i need it.

My kids do spend way too much time on electronics - but before we had the electronics, they'd be playing legos, and i would just stay inside and read. We just dont have that drive. But i do try to be healthy, just lower key. Its also hard because my older son is on meds which made him gain 1.5 lb a month for 2 years starting at age 9. My sister was on similar meds, and she would starve herself all day, but after the meds hit, she would practically sleep walk to the fridge and stuff everything she could find in to her mouth. it really alters both the body chemistry and the brain, and makes weight a serious problem.

Pefa
09-22-2010, 05:03 PM
I always have trouble filling out the sex drugs rock and roll section of VT's requirements - which is silly because like most of the rest of you we're poster children for the eat local/exercise daily folk. We just don't talk much about it. I don't like team sports so we only do disorganized stuff - hiking paddling (helps that BIL is a whitewater champ with a knack for putting together fun family trips) skiing swimming etc. I've learned to take pictures of the kiddos out and about (the 9yo thinks nothing of a 27mi bike ride) and working in the garden or slaughtering animals to prove we aren't sitting around eating twinkies.

Shoe
09-22-2010, 06:35 PM
I just bought the DVD of "Supersize Me" today, as an introduction to talking about nutrition and as I start to teach cooking.

mommykicksbutt
09-23-2010, 09:54 AM
I just bought the DVD of "Supersize Me" today, as an introduction to talking about nutrition and as I start to teach cooking.

Here's a lesson plan that goes with that movie Shoe...

http://www.teachwithmovies.org/samples/super-size-me.html

Shoe
09-23-2010, 10:10 AM
Here's a lesson plan that goes with that movie Shoe...

http://www.teachwithmovies.org/samples/super-size-me.html

Thanks for the link

inmom
09-23-2010, 10:18 AM
Not that we went all that often before, but we haven't been to a McDonald's since we saw Supersize Me, and that was several years ago.

Shoe
09-23-2010, 10:36 AM
Not that we went all that often before, but we haven't been to a McDonald's since we saw Supersize Me, and that was several years ago.

I'm a "heavy user" by McDonald's standards according to the movie, but I'm not sure I'll be going back any time soon to any fast food chain. (In fact, I'm pretty sure I won't be eating fast food for quite some time). I just had my kids pick out some healthy vegetarian recipes to cook for supper all of next week. I doubt that I'll become a vegetarian, but I think it's about time to re-introduce the idea of vegetables to our home-well, to me-my son is a vegetarian, and my daughter loves vegetables. It's just me that doesn't like them much at all.

hockeymom
09-23-2010, 11:16 AM
I recently had a very uncomfortable conversation with another mom in which I was forced to admit I've never been to Dairy Queen and my son has never had fast food. I'm pretty sure she thinks I either dropped down from space or that I'm just cruel. But you know what, it just doesn't register in our world and DS has never once asked about any of those places. He knows what they are but isn't interested.

It's so awful and ridiculous to feel judged on such petty stuff.

Busygoddess
09-23-2010, 11:53 AM
I used to be a manager at McDonald's. I haven't eaten there much since leaving (the food just isn't as good when I can't make it myself), and that was 10 years ago. We eat out less than once a week. Sometimes, on grocery shopping day, we'll stop and pick up Taco Bell or pizza on the way home. Sometimes, we'll just pick up a frozen pizza or chicken from the deli counter while doing the shopping. Basically, because we don't get home from grocery shopping until dinner time or later, we choose to do quick & easy dinner instead of eating late. Most of our meals, though are homemade. My pizza is better & healthier than frozen pizza or anything from local pizza places. My burgers have a lot less fat & a lot more flavor than any place in town. I can make better tacos, chicken, etc. So, we prefer to eat homemade. It's healthier & much better tasting.
My dh is not big on veggies, but will try anything I make at least once. So, I'm always trying to find ways to include new & different veggies. He'll eat some veggies, he's just very picky about them. He'll eat green beans, peas, and corn. He'll eat carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, and celery, if they're raw. He'll eat tomato sauce, but not chuncks of tomato. My son is actually worse than my hubby. He'll eat pretty much the same veggies as hubby, except lettuce. He also won't eat potatoes unless they're in fry or tater tot form - he won't eat them mashed, baked, sauteed, boiled, grilled, etc - just french fries & tater tots. I do get them to eat a good amount of veggies, but it can be challenging sometimes.

allisonsracquet
09-23-2010, 01:27 PM
My son was in PS last year and saw "Supersize Me" as part of the health curriculum. We didn't really eat McDonald's anyway, but now, he wouldn't eat it if it were the last thing on earth! It's funny, they spent most of their lives in CA and McDonald's is really frowned upon there. Now that we have moved back to the south, it amazes me how many people routinely feed their families fast food for dinner!

My husband and I are very active! He is a tennis pro so he is on the court 8-10 hours a day. He also loves to bike. I also play tennis, but believe it or not, our latest passion is boxing! After a negative experience with team football, my husband signed my son up for boxing (I thought I would die!)...but it turns out, it is an amazing workout, and has really helped him to build confidence and motor skills. He has learned everything from how to do pushups properly, to jumping rope, and best of all, he got to learn by watching others, not by being yelled at.
We (my son and I), also go to the gym together 2/3 times a week. I have to say, it has really made our relationship strong, and gives us both a way to blow off some steam in the middle of the day! He keeps a "workout journal", which is just another way for him to do some writing, but I also like the idea that he can look back and see all of the work he has done.

dbmamaz
09-23-2010, 02:04 PM
Ok, my youngest son - potato is almost the ONLY veggie he will eat, but he will eat it absolutly any way I cook it, so far. He will also eat snow peas, but only fresh off the vine - so thats about 2 weeks out of the year.

I live in Richmond, VA and once met a woman (who drove me nuts in more ways than I can count) who complained that we didnt have enough chain restaraunts here. She said that in OH, she had a Bobs Big Boy on every corner. I was baffled.

Busygoddess
09-23-2010, 02:29 PM
Ok, my youngest son - potato is almost the ONLY veggie he will eat, but he will eat it absolutly any way I cook it, so far. He will also eat snow peas, but only fresh off the vine - so thats about 2 weeks out of the year.

I live in Richmond, VA and once met a woman (who drove me nuts in more ways than I can count) who complained that we didnt have enough chain restaraunts here. She said that in OH, she had a Bobs Big Boy on every corner. I was baffled.


I can't imagine thinking there weren't enough fast food places around. Personally, I have too many around me. We live virtually across the street from a Burger King. Within maybe a half a mile there's a Taco Bell, McDonald's, KFC, Dairy Queen, Subway, 3 pizza places, & a donut shop. I literally can't drive to the grocery store without passing at least 3 fast food places. Of course everyone thinks we're crazy for not eating at those places more. I can't count the number of times I've heard "It must be so nice to live across the street from a Burger King. You never have to worry about what to eat on those busy days." Even if we ate fast food more often, I wouldn't eat at Burger King. I haven't eaten at Burger King since I got kicked out of one for requesting that the employees wore gloves while making my food because I didn't appreciate the completely unhygienic practices I saw. That was while I was working at McDonald's so.. 10 or 11 years ago.