Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Family Fitness 101: 11 Tips For a Fit Family
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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AXP140731_FAMILY_FITNESS (1)As a parent, I know that one of our greatest goals (and challenges!) is to set a good example for our children. We teach them to share with others, do their homework on time and learn good manners…but are we instilling the important lessons of eating well, staying physically active, maintaining a positive attitude and financial fitness?

Here are my top 11 tips to help your family get fit:

1. Take your kids to the supermarket: Next time you are cruising the produce aisle, have your kids choose an interesting fruit or vegetable they’d like to try. Being a part of the food shopping expedition can be both educational and empowering for your kids.

2. Let your kids take on the role of assistant chefs: Studies show that when kids are actively involved in food prep and cooking at a young age, they are more likely to try new foods and take an interest in eating well. Have them help you by washing foods, stirring ingredients, or chopping veggies if they’re old enough.

3. Create your own special snacks: Have everyone create their own family fun-style smoothies, pizzas, trail mixes or oatmeal bowls using a variety of healthy and yummy ingredients. One of my favorites is to add spinach or kale to a fruit smoothie. Call it a Banana Berry Blast and add baby spinach. The spinach gets so small they won’t even taste it. (Note: I’m not a believer in being sneaky in the kitchen and tricking your kids.)

4. Go to the local track: Paying for gym memberships for an entire family can be expensive. Instead, plan weekly meet-ups at the local track and run laps. Add a little friendly competition by creating “mini-Olympics” relay races!

5. Find a trail: Disconnect by turning off cell phones and reconnect with family and nature by finding local walking trails in the area. It can be the perfect time to get fresh air, enjoy the scenery, and catch up on the day.

6. Play the game: Instead of yelling at your kids for playing sedentary video games all day, make it a family affair! After dinner, plug in your gaming system and play active games like ones that make you dance, kickbox, or play tennis! You’ll burn even more calories from laughing so hard.

7. Financial fitness challenge: Family financial fitness is an area that many parents often overlook to teach their kids. A fun way to get your kids more involved is to give them the challenge of who can score the best deals on items the family needs to buy. Teach them how your credit card works. My favorite new credit card is The Amex EveryDay Credit Card since it rewards me for my daily purchases like groceries where I can earn 2x the points. By using The Amex EveryDay Card for my everyday spending, I’m able to earn 20% more points if I use the Card 20 times or more in a billing period. Have your kids help you keep track of your purchases and points and help you pick your reward!

8. Family Fun Run (or walk): Build character and fitness by signing up for a Family Fun Run. Together, you’ll raise money for a good cause and get a great workout to boot. The shared memory of crossing the finish line as a family and working as a team to help your community will be the best feeling of all!

9. Plan Fam-Fit vacations or day trips: Head to a nearby mountain for a day of skiing, go for long bike rides, or go apple picking at a local farm. Combine these heart-pumping outings with a healthy picnic lunch to optimize the experience.

10. Taste Test Challenge: Each week, have every family member write down one or two nutritious foods they’d like to try and place into a hat. Each week, draw a food selection from the hat and incorporate the ingredient into a crowd-pleasing recipe! Not only will this make healthy foods fun but it may also inspire the picky eaters in your family to be more experimental! Some ideas: quinoa, kale, lentils, and avocado!

11. Plant a garden together: Become a green-thumbed family by planting fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs! The family will get a great workout cultivating the garden. There’s always something special about healthy, organic food grown straight from your backyard that makes it taste extra delicious.

I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. As such, I was paid for my services, but tips and opinions shared about and American Express and the Amex EveryDay Credit Card are my own.


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