Tag Archives: Childhood Obesity Prevention

5 Tips to Help You and Your Child De-Stress!

Stress is common for adults but did you know, kids can get stressed as well? It’s true, and though reasons adults stress may differ from that of children, it can still wear on them. Their mental well-being is just as important as their physical well-being.   5

Here are 5 amazing tips to help your child de-stress!

  1. Breathing exercises: Have them take 3, deep, 5 second breaths-in and out. This circulates the blood in our bodies and sends oxygen to the brain to help the body release tension.

 

2.   Listen to soothing music to relax them.                Calming music can have a direct effect on mood and ease the mind and body to put                kids in their happy place.

3.  Laughter! Watch something funny with your child or tell them funny jokes. Just like                exercise, laughing releases endorphins or the “feel good chemical” in our bodies and              make them feel less anxious.

  1. Get their minds elsewhere. In other words, distraction. Activities like exercise are best. They cause a calming effect on the body that may soothe and will tire them out as well making them feel more relaxed.

5.   When in doubt, talk it out. Sometimes just venting is all kids need to feel better about            a situation that has made feel tense or anxious. Talk with your kids, ask them what                  they are feeling and figure out the best way to make them feel better, together.

Kids often times don’t know how to deal with their feelings especially ones that don’t make them happy. That’s why it’s important to provide them with methods of coping with the stress they may encounter. We would like to think they have no care in the world but they do experience stress and following tips like these will make it easier for parents to manage stress factors on their kids.


How do you help your kids de-stress? Share in the comments below.

Get Kids Fit, 5 Ways to Set the Example not to Quit!

Parenting is the toughest yet most rewarding job you will ever have in your life.

With the copious amounts of responsibility to work and raise your kids, you may find it difficult on top of day-to-day tasks add in exercise.

Knowing it must be done is half the battle. Luckily, MECKids can help with the other half. Here are 5 great tips on how to get your kids involved with exercise.

1. Be the example! Show them it’s fun. If they see you doing it, they are more likely to want to join in. Remember your kids are watching you and a lot of what they will do in their life has a lot to do with what they’ve seen growing up.file000424689667

2. Make fitness a challenge in your home. Team up with others in your family to create fitness challenges. If you can grab fun gear, you can create challenges like: “Who can hula hoop the longest?” If you don’t have access to gear, make chasing each other at the local park a fun game!

3. Kids may not like the idea of exercising so use alternative words if you have to. Instead ofmentioning the word “exercise,” you can say, “Let’s go have some fun together.”

4. Once your child starts becoming active, praise them for what they are doing to create encouragement. They will most likely want to do it again if they know they will be praised for it.

5. Create a colorful and interactive calendar. Aim for an hour of activity a day. Have them place a sticker or mark off different days with a different color once the activity is done. It gives them something to look forward to after.

If all else fails, sneak in active time. A great way to do this would be parking far away from places you have to go so you have to walk further.

These tips are great ways to set the example for your kids and a fantastic way to create more bonding time.

It can difficult to balance work and all of your family’s needs but that’s why MECKids was created. We are dedicated to helping you and your kids find a passion and a purpose to live a healthy lifestyle! On November 15th, MECKids is launching MomNmeFit, a program designed specifically for Moms and their kids to get out and get active!

Stay tuned and keep moving!

Happy National Nutrition Month!

PrintHappy National Nutrition Month MECKids! This month marks an annual celebration of nutrition education sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In recognition of this delicious and nutritious campaign, we will be featuring weekly blogs and healthy recipes that highlight this year’s theme of what “Enjoy the Taste Eating Right” means to us and the importance of making  informed food choices and developing sound nutritional habits!

As the largest health and fitness community designed just for youth and families, MECKids believes that practicing healthy eating habits and daily nutrition at a young age is the key to shaping a healthy, balanced, fruitful lifestyle throughout a lifetime.  Eating clean  and green also fortifies our bodies and helps to combat health issues such as childhood obesity. We “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” by nourishing our minds and bodies with the tasty treats found in nature’s very own garden- fruits and vegetables! Rich with vitamins and minerals, these super foods deliver great flavor, bountiful benefits and are amazingly fun to eat, as well!

Today’s healthy, fun and flavorful recipe is for Apple Sandwiches! Apples are a great source of vitamin C, A and fiber and these wonderful nutrients promote great heart health.  It’s true what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so it green and enjoy this delicious fruit snack!

Ingredients:

* 1-2 apples cut into rings970199af107f462d69d24f6e983ff9ec

* almond  or seed butter

* raisins

* granola

Directions:

* Spread almond or seed butter on one apple ring and place chocolate chips on top of butter.

* Sprinkle raisins with granola and top with a second apple ring to make a “sandwich.”

Yummy! Eat clean and Enjoy!

MECKids Spring Into March With 30 Day Fitness Challenge!

Calling all fit kids and families! March is here and what better way to jump-start Spring than with a new fitness program that will keep you healthy, happy and moving this year! We’re kick-starting the month with an exciting 30-Day Fitness Challenge that will keep you MOVING with great fun and fitness! Studies have shown it takes 30 days to form a new habit, and our fitness program is designed to help shape healthy habits that will form a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyles. So gather your friends and family, and let’s get MOVING!

How to Win:

1.  “Like” our Facebook page, and “Follow” our Twitter page, where a new exercise challenge will be posted daily.

2. Post your fitness photos and videos to our pages everyday with hashtag #MECKidsChallenge to automatically enter to win!

3. Once you finish each daily exercise and post your photos/videos, log your results and calories burned onto our website at www.meckids.com to track your progress.

4. Keep moving,  tune in and WIN! We will be reposting all fitness photos/video submissions onto our Facebook page to spotlight all participants, and the top three winners of our 30 Day Fitness Challenge will be featured on our website!

There will be TONS of awesome prizes in store for all of our winners! We applaud all of our fit kids and families for joining us on this fun fitness journey to reaching your very best health! We can’t wait to see you MOVE!

Ready, set GO MECKids! #YouGottaMOVE!

 

What People Think About Childhood Obesity In America

obesity_epidemic_america
Even though childhood obesity is an epidemic, many people aren’t aware of it.  I found a couple of people today that were willing to let me interview them on the topic at hand and they gave me some really great feedback.  A librarian, when asked about her feelings on the childhood obesity epidemic said, “I think it is sad that the world has come to this, and it is all because of lack of parental involvement.  They just let their kids stay in the house.”  She also added that obese kids not only suffer from being overweight but also because of the teasing and bullying that comes with it.  “Fat kids get teased all the time.” She remarks.  Russell a second librarian had strong feelings toward the epidemic and the tools that can be used to stop it.  He argues that America is obese because “Affordable food is unhealthy and healthy food is expensive.”  When asked why minorities are the largest of the obesity percentile of America he says there is lack of knowledge and inequalities amongst people and neighborhoods.  He mentioned a couple of great programs that reach out to communities in the quest to healthy eating such as Eat Local, Farmers Markets and even Michelle Obama’s Lets Move campaign.  There is a lot of help out there but if people don’t know about them how will the world be a healthier place?  I asked the librarians what could they do to contribute to slimming down America and they both agreed on promotion, education and encouragement.  “Schools should plant gardens and let the children eat the fruits and veggies from them.” And “Kids should get outside and encourage their friends to come out to play.” These are a couple of helpful tips the librarians gave.  I think with the use of the programs available and parents pushing their kids off the couch we can put a stop to childhood obesity.

 

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

Do You Want Fries With That?

The Happy Meal; specifically targeted for children is a quick and easy meal that puts a smile on every kids face and a hush to the mid-day tummy growls.  The Happy Meal has been sold at McDonalds since 1979 and continues to sell at a whopping one million per day in the United States alone. Happy Meals, depending on the combination of food and drink can be about 400-600 calories per meal.  “As a result, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled since 1980 — today, 16 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight or obese. An additional 15 percent of kids are at risk of becoming overweight or obese” reports NBC News.  At this rate parents and kids should start finding other alternatives for a quick and easy meal.

Its not only Happy Meals that have America’s kids becoming obese by the second, sweetened cereals such as Cap’n Crunch and Cinnamon Toast Crunch contain empty calories and food colorings that have been linked to irritability and behavioral problems in children.  Sunny D and Hawaiian Punch only contain 5% juice, one cup is the equivalent of eating a dozen Chips Ahoy cookies; might as well grab an ice cold cup of sugar.  Last but not most definitely not least are Hot Pockets; the pepperoni stuffed frozen sandwiches.  One serving yields 735 calories and a heart stopping 1,352 milligrams of sodium.  The only pros of these food and drinks are the cheap market value and easy preparation however, the easy route isn’t always the best route to take.

As a solution to settling for unhealthy foods, explore new options.  Instead of unnatural, preservative filled breakfast foods try fresh fruit and a lightly sweetened whole grain cereal with a glass of orange juice or 2% milk, and for a midday snack grab some frozen yogurt or pita chips with hummus.  Dinner Time should be a joyful occasion to sit down and enjoy a satisfying meal with family and friends.  Have everyones input in the kitchen for healthy choices.  Make a rainbow colored salad and slice some lemons for a baked salmon and wild rice dish.  Instead of ordering a pizza decorate and bake your own.  Healthy eating should not be a choice, it should be a lifestyle that you follow everyday.  A lifestyle that you feel good about and that can put you on the pathway to a better you.  Now for what its worth, do you really want fries with that?

 

  • “Happy Meal.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 May 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

  • “How Many Happy Meals Are Sold Each Day in the United States?” Questions & Answers. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

  • “The 20 Worst Kids’ Foods in America.” Msnbc.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

  • “Calorie Counter.” Calories in Hot Pockets Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Sandwich Frozen. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

 

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

 

MECKids at the GetKidsMovin Event

Lets Get MOVIN!!!

By MECKids Blog Ambassador, Student Ambassador Whitney Wasso

Va getkids movin

Three words to describe MECKids at the GetKidsMovin event.  Exciting, engaging and energetic. MECkids had a blast!!! On Saturday, July 20, another GetKidsMovin event took place at the Stonebridge Potomac Town Center. The event was from 1pm to 5pm.  The event started off with two fitness trainers who got the kids warmed up and ready to exercise. Throughout the event, there were ticket raffles after every hour and a participants had the opportunity to win a $25 gift card to Sports Zone. On the main message was an awesome puppet show to educate kids about being safe for example: “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, “Call 911”, “Stop, Drop and Roll”, etc. Chi Chi Monet performed with her sister Zoe her latest songs “No Bully” and “Move”. MECKids went up after one of Chi Chi’s performances.

We did what we do best and kept the kids moving with our stretches, workout,  hula hoop challenges and contest. The kids go so excited over the hula hoops and were engaged in our activity.  Next followed, Ms. Kena Hodges, licensed instructor,  she got the kids moving with her Zumba exercises. She had three different dance routines: the Wobble, All I Do Is Win and an upbeat Spanish song. MECKids participated in the Zumba exercise and we had a blast. We didn’t feel like we were even exercising at all!  The event ended  with the fashion show and the kids were modeling Old Navy clothing and Sport Zone shoes.  Some of the other GetKidsMovin team were Not Your Average Joes, Fruit Joi, Thrive, Sport and Health, Thrive, and Sports Zone.

Not Your Average Joes is a restaurant and they were giving out free samples of the foods they serve and free coupons. Sport and Health and Thrive were there talking to families on how they could assist in keeping their health and fitness lifestyles intact. Fruit Joi is a yogurt shop and they make their own healthy yogurts with the choices of different types of fruits and other yummy toppings. Lastly, I can’t forget Sports Zone who has carried out the entire event from the people there to the venue to their  partnership with of Get KidsMovin.

 

MECKids at the Biggest Loser Run/Walk

The Biggest Loser  Run/Walk

Biggest loser event 

The Biggest Loser is a hit television show started in 2004.  The show features obese people competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight in comparison to their initial weight.  On Sunday July 14th; Dan and Jackie Evans, mother and son duo from season five of The Biggest Loser hosted the 5, 10, 15k run walk event at Stadium Armory in Washington D.C.  There was also a 1 mile race for younger kids that were interested in joining in on the action.  The Biggest Loser Run Walk was a race that challenged America to get fit.  MECKids was given the opportunity to volunteer at the event to motivate runners, pass out medals and get some cool information from the adults and kids on their experience at this event.

            People came from all over the United States to participate in the run walk.  “We came all the way from New Jersey to be in this race and become healthy strong Americans,” said Sal, volunteer and runner for the event.  Jen and Benita, longtime fans of The Biggest Loser came to run with their kids, “We are beginning runners and the kids love staying healthy and fit.  My son was actually allowed to run with me in the 10k.  It’s a really great family opportunity.”  Bridgette from Maryland said, “This was my second 5k, I ran a 5k a couple years back when I worked with a school for kids with autism.  I think being healthy is the greatest thing you can ever give to yourself.” Even though the sun was beaming down, the runners looked accomplished as they crossed the finish line and received their medals.

I was able interview Dan and Jackie Evans, the national spokespeople for the biggest loser run walk and they each had very inspirational stories to tell.  Jackie said, “Other than face book and other social sites like that, gatherings like these are probably the largest social things out there and it’s really all about you.”  She commented that this run walk was an opportunity to better each one’s goals and have the feeling of accomplishment.  When asked about her goals, Jackie emphasized, “One, I WILL cross the start and finish line today and two, I WILL be faster than anyone who stayed in bed today instead of coming here.”  She mentioned the struggle to keep the weight off is great because food is used in all occasions, “I eat food when I’m hungry, when I’m down, when I’m celebrating; there’s no getting away from it.

 The thing is knowing your limit and having will power.”  She added that her son Dan is a great partner to work out and share encouragement with, “He was 310 and lost 136 pounds, but he hated the treadmill, he called it ‘Dread Mill.”  Dan said, “Being on The Biggest Loser was so transformational and life changing.  I went from being a couch potato kid to being able to run half marathons.  It’s an incredible feeling to be such an inspiration to so many people and the journey of weight loss is so powerful you know.  You have to respect the journey.”  Dan joked that moving in with his mom again at the age of 21 for the show was kind of weird but it made their bond tighter because they were able to encourage each other.

The kids that ran the 1 mile race seemed so determined to complete the course, smiles and excitement shown on their faces from start to finish.  Six year old Regan said, “I really liked that we got medals and I really liked the race.”  One little boy remarked, “I really liked jumping in the puddles!”  Ari Morton, a 10 year old from Rockville, Maryland won first place in the 10k on his birthday.  “It was my first race, It felt good,” He said.

Overall, I believe this was a successful event.  Everywhere I looked I saw smiles, laughter and encouragement from everybody.  This event made me feel like I could run the next 5k because there were people of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities.  Also the enthusiasm from the kids made me think, if they could do it I’m sure I can do it.  Along with inspiring me to become more fit and healthy, being at this event allowed me to see that even though it may be tough; with the proper mentality and support fitness can be an enjoyable experience.

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

Get Kids Movin Interview: Anthony Tilghman Speaks About Rebirth Energy Drink

by Whitney Wasso, MECKids Blog Ambassador

MECKids was onsite at the fun-filled Get Kids Movin Event at the Capital Centre Boulevard on Saturday April 6th 2013, and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview with Anthony Tilghman, founder of Rebirth Energy Drink. Here is what the young entrepreneur had to say about his brand new product and how it contributes to health and fitness.

I’m Anthony Tilghman. I’m a photographer, and embedded entrepreneur. My product is called Rebirth Energy Drink. It says the flavor that adds new life is pretty much the new energy drink. It is actually available at Sports Zone locations. You can check the website at www.drinkrebirth.com for more locations. I came up with the name Rebirth about a year ago because I don’t drink alcohol, so I was trying to find a product that pretty much markets me, as well as somebody that does not drink alcohol. So, I created Rebirth energy drink to help give back to local people who go to clubs and have fun that don’t drink, but also want to have that great flavor of an energy drink that they can relate to. So just try some. Just try it out, it’s a flavor that adds new life if you try it, you’ll love it. I guarantee it. You can also visit my website www.anthonytilghman.com for more information. I do photography and marketing so I do a lot of different things. So support business owners, support Rebirth, support Sports Zone, support me, love the kids. The kids definitely are a big part of our future, so hopefully they can be entrepreneurs of their own and create their own business. That is what it is about get fit, getting out there, marketing yourself and having fun doing it.

DSC_0367

Click Here to View More Photos of MECKids at Get Kids Movin!

MECKids Goes Green at The White House Gardens!

Lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli and more… these are just some of the greens that MECKids adores! These and many more delectable legumes can all be found on the South Lawn of the White House,  beautifully arranged in it’s ornate gardens with a host of delicious and nutritious vegetable varieties. MECKids had the wonderful pleasure of visiting the White House Gardens this month, and experiencing a grand tour that walked us through colorful landscapes that told a beautiful story of our nation’s Presidential history.

We were truly inspired by the walking tour which featured many illustrious landmarks, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and South Lawn of the White House. We were especially thrilled to observe the many crops found in the vegetable garden, that inspires healthy eating and living for youth and families across our local and global communities. Mrs. Obama planted the vegetable garden in 2009 to help launch the Let’s Move! campaign, an initiative to end childhood obesity, encourage healthier lifestyles and more physical activity for children. The 1,100-square-foot garden is the largest and most expansive vegetable garden to date on the White House lawn. It features 55 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including garden Swiss chard, arugula, potatoes, wheat, radishes, cilantro, garlic, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and herbs, along with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and even an apple tree!

This year, the First Lady planted lettuce and other crops in her garden on the South Lawn of the White House, with assistance from students from Washington Metropolitan Area school districts and around the country, as well. To date, the garden has produced over 3,000 pounds of food, a large amount of which The White House donates to local area soup kitchens and The Food Bank Organization. Mrs.Obama  has placed great emphasis on the vegetable garden movement to encourage children to increase healthy food choices in effort to prevent childhood obesity and diet related health issues affecting the nation. The Obama’s vegetable garden is a wonderful example of community-orientated sustainable gardening and it’s positive effects on the betterment of the health of our nation, as a whole.  MECKids applauds the Obama’s efforts towards childhood obesity prevention and healthy living. We are truly honored to observe the White House Gardens and inspired to advance Mrs.Obama’s Vegetable Garden initiative by encouraging children to nourish and enrich their lives, every healthy meal at a time!

In the spirit of going GREEN, MECKids wishes youth and families around the world a very Happy Earth Day and recognizes the Obama’s sustainable vegetable garden model as a resource for healthy eating and living. In recognition of Earth Day, we encourage families to Spring into action with your very own community garden, and begin planting fresh fruits and veggies that will contribute to the overall health of our local and global communities.

DSC_0300

Click Here to View More Photos of the Beautiful White House Gardens in our Photo Gallery!

MECKids Get’s Kids Movin!

The MECKids team had an amazing time at the Get Kids Movin! Event, this past weekend. We jumped; hula hooped and stretched our muscles with our student participants. The Boulevard at the Capital Centre will never be the same again! Our interactive hula hoop activity was a BIG HIT, even parents were excited to move along with our MECKids team. A host of dynamic talent and organizations showcased a fun-filled production to raise awareness about childhood obesity prevention, including ten year old singing sensation Chi Chi Monet, The Think Brown Ink Agency, Nike trainer Deanna Jefferson, Sports Zone,  BET Born to Dance winner LaTanya Swann and many more, who joined MECKids in bringing fun and fitness to hundreds of Washington Metro area families!

DSC_0357

Check out our Photo Gallery to view more pictures of  MECKids getting kids movin!

After such a great event in Maryland, Meckids heads home to Virgina for our next event at Urban Evolution. Check out our Meet Up group and click here to RSVP! MECKids is on the move with our health technology and new after school program. If you know any schools looking to add an afterschool fitness and health technology program that includes a six week fitness program with our online tracking system contact us today contact@meckids.com