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7 Ways To Get Fit and Healthy With Your Kid

A few weeks ago we took Norrin for his annual physical. I didn’t think anything when the doctor said Norrin was slightly overweight for his age and height. Norrin is tall for a seven year old and he’s always been a solid kid. The other day while we were at the pool, I caught a glimpse of Norrin in his bathing suit and I noticed he’s starting to get a little belly. (I may have been fixated on it for the rest of the day.)

Days later I stepped on the scale and I stared at the number for a long time. It’s a number that I am not happy with. I have struggled with my weight for the last few years. And I need to do something about it. Over the last few months I have started to form bad habits and it’s impacting Norrin.

No, I’m not going to put Norrin on a diet or restrict him from eating. And I’m not the kind of parent who forces their kid to eat everything on their plate.

My husband and I both have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I don’t want any of that for Norrin. I want him to grow up to be a healthy young man who knows how to make responsible choices. I want to be healthy for as long as I can. I want to have to live for as long as I can because Norrin needs me.

I am not planning anything drastic. Like I said, I want Norrin to be able to make responsible choices and I need to lead by example. It’s time break out of my bad habits before it’s too late.  These are 7 simple things I’m going to do to get fit and healthy with Norrin.

  • Get Fit & Healthy with the Kids this Spring 1 of 8
    Fit Healthy Kids_Lisa Quinones Fontanez_BAbble

    Spring has finally sprung! And summer will be here before we know it. This spring, I really want to work hard to be more active and to eat better with my son, Norrin. Here are some simple lifestyle changes I plan to make to get fit and healthy with him.

  • MORE Fruits & Veggies 2 of 8
    green and red healthy food

    We love fruits and veggies in our house, but we don't eat them as much as we should. Lately I've been cutting up a few slices of apple or strawberries and giving them to Norrin with his cereal for breakfast. I've also been getting better at throwing some broccoli or string beans on his plate for dinner. I really want to stress the importance of a healthy well balanced diet.

    Kids over six years old should have 3-5 servings of vegetables, and 2-4 servings of fruit per day

  • Take the Stairs 3 of 8
    iStock_000009923852XSmall

    We live on the second floor of an apartment building. We never take the elevator - unless I have the shopping cart. And when we go out, if we have the choice between the stairs, elevator or escalator - we take the stairs. It's the little things through out the day that can make a difference.

  • A Good Night’s Sleep 4 of 8
    Nice familiy sleeping together

    Most days I wake up at around 5 am. And many nights I go to sleep well after 11 pm. Norrin also has an erratic sleep schedule. One of the biggest reasons why I don't make it to the gym (or cook) is because I'm so physically tired. I really want to make more of an effort to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.

    I'd also like to point out that even though most nights Norrin does find his way to our bed - we don't sleep like this. It looks more like...this.     

  • Cut Down On Fast Food 5 of 8
    iStock_000016515039XSmall

    We order take out more times a week than I care to admit. And when I buy lunch (almost every day), I don't always make the best choices. I want Norrin to grow up understanding that he has food options. Growing up, my mother cooked dinner every single night. On the rare occasion that we went out, it was a considered a treat. That's how I want Norrin to see fast food - as an indulgence, not a way of life.    

  • Drink More Water 6 of 8
    iStock_000019027054XSmall

    Norrin is a milk guzzler and juice drinker. He drinks water when there's nothing else available and will happily munch on crushed ice. I make it a point to drink water through out the day, I want Norrin to be able to do the same. I want him to understand what really quenches his thirst. Many days, I'll pour him a cup of water and add just a tiny splash of juice for flavor.

    How do you get your kids to drink water?

     

  • Run a Race 7 of 8
    iStock_000019162309XSmall

    A few months ago, Norrin ran his first race. He was so incredibly proud and it was such a good learning experience for both of us. Participating in races as a family is a great way to spend quality time and get fit.  

  • Take a Walk 8 of 8
    iStock_000015225635XSmall

    I do not know how to drive. So on days when it's just me and Norrin - we rely on public transportation and our own two feet. I love just taking long walks with Norrin. We take in the sights, talk about everything we see and just get to hang out at our own pace. 

    So the next time you have to run out on an errand, leave the car behind if you can. 

Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.

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