Tag Archives: Kids

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!

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

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

ATTENTION!

Do    not    skip    breakfast — or    grades    could    pay    a    price.

 

Evidence suggests that eating breakfast really does help kids learn. After fasting all night, a developing body and brain need a fresh supply of glucose — or blood sugar. That’s the brain’s basic fuel.

Dozens of studies from as far back as the 1950s have consistently shown that children who eat breakfast perform better academically than those who don’t. In a recent study of 4,000 elementary school students, researchers measured the effects of eating breakfast by administering a battery of attention tests. They measured short-term memory and verbal fluency. Across the board, the breakfast eaters performed better than those children who had skipped breakfast.

So breakfast is important, but does what kind of breakfast kids eat matter? The answer is: Yes!

Finding a meal that has a low glycemic index will help keep a child more alert. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the carbohydrates in food is absorbed into our bodies and converted to fuel. When it comes to sustained brain power, food that is low on the scale is preferable. Even though a bowl of sugary cereal and a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal may have the same number of carbohydrates, they have very different glycemic loads.

Sugary cereals get into your body quickly and cause a peak in blood-sugar levels, but the levels then fall dramatically after two hours. This dip in blood sugar can bring a release of hormones that affect mood, and in some children, the hormones seem to affect concentration and memory. Oatmeal, on the other hand, is absorbed slowly, so there is a slow rise in blood sugar and enough energy to last through the morning.

Scientists have recently begun to study this phenomenon. One recent study had one group of children eat sweetened oatmeal for breakfast while another ate Cap’n Crunch cereal. Then both groups were given academic tasks, like memorizing the names of countries on a map. Both cereals had the same sugar content, but the oatmeal eaters did up to 20 percent better than the Crunch consumers. The reason being, the oatmeal had more protein and fiber, and therefore a lower glycemic index.

Families should start to make breakfast part of kids’ morning routines. There are some easy and quick meals that have low glycemic index that will help keep your child full without taking up too much time in the morning.

Smart    Simple    Breakfast

Banana with peanut butter
Banana sliced into yogurt
Oatmeal with fruit: apples, blueberries, or peaches
Small tortilla with a few tablespoons of nut butter and chopped strawberries. Roll it up, slice it.
Breakfast smoothies — berries, ice, and milk or yogurt.

 

You can also try making your own granola bars which will be less processed and contain less sugar. Try making the recipe below and get the kids involved in the kitchen!

 

Granola    Bars

Ingredients:

granola

1 & 3/4 C rolled oats

1 C crisp puffed brown rice cereal

3/4 C seeds (1/4 C each of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds)

1/4 C finely ground flaxseed

1/4 C unsweetened coconut

1/2 C brown rice syrup

1/3 C creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T of mini chocolate chips

Directions: Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Mix them together. In a separate (microwave safe) bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, then   microwave them for about 20 to 30 seconds. This will make it easier to mix and add to the dry ingredients since it’s really sticky! Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix! Keep mixing until the wet binding ingredients are as well distributed as possible. Put some muscle into it! Then, put the mixture into a shallow pan and flatten it down. Refrigerate. Done and done!