Girls enjoying the pool.

Fun Kids Activities Away From The TV

At times, motivating your family to peel themselves away from the TV can seem like an uphill battle. But don’t lose hope! We have come up with a list of fun, engaging activities that will keep your children away from the TV and having fun.

Summer is a great time to establish a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. Cultivate a supportive environment for summer weight loss by making your kids health a priority and keeping track of how your family is spending their free time. You will be able to develop a healthy lifestyle by making a few small changes to your routine.

The most important thing to keeping your kids off the couch has to be something that they enjoy. At first, there might be a little resistance but if you continue to give your children stimulating and creative ways to play the TV will become an afterthought.

Fun ways to play:

  1. Tightrope Tollbooth: With a piece of sidewalk chalk (using the side of the chalk) draw a 3-inch-wide, 50-foot-long chalk line (making the line as straight or as squiggly as you would like) on the sidewalk or driveway and challenge bikers to keep both wheels on the line at all times. Add another dimension by giving each participant the same number of pennies and place an empty soup can at the line’s midpoint. The rider that drops the most pennies into the can, and completes the course, is the winner.
  2. Sponge Relay: Start with two buckets (one for each team), have at least one sponge for each time and one large container of water. Divide the kids into two teams and have them line up across from their bucket. One by one, each team member grabs a sponge and runs to their bucket and squeezes as much water out of the sponge as possible. One at a time, each member of the team grabbed a sponge and ran to their bucket. Then the team member runs back to their team (with the sponge) so the next kid can have a turn. When time runs out (you can determine this based on children’s age and number of participants) measure both teams buckets to see who got the most water in their bucket. For older children, it is fun to add math into the mix by getting exact measurements with measuring cups or beakers and graduated cylinders.
  3. Sponge Bullseye: Draw a bullseye with sidewalk chalk and assign points to each circle of the target. Have the kids stand on the starting line and toss their wet sponge at the target. This game can be played in teams (to build social skills) or individually. Add up the points after everyone has had a turn and the team (or child) with the most points wins!
  4. Bossy Ball:  This game is played like regular catch, but with a slight twist. Randomly stick 7 to 12 strips of masking tape on a playground ball with different rules on each strip. For example you can have the kids throw the ball overhead, backwards, underhand, between the legs, mid-jump, while singing, eyes closed and anything else the springs to mind. Once the first player picks up the ball, he or she must look at the words under their right hand. Have the first player throw the ball according to what the words say. The second player has to try to catch the ball in the same manner in which it was thrown (for example, if the first player has to throw the ball while singing, the second player has to catch the ball while singing). The second player then looks at the words under his or her right hand, and so on. Make the game more challenging by trying to catch the ball as many times as possible and then try to beat your record.
  5. Nature Scavenger Hunt: It is as simple as it sounds! Create a list of things that are (relatively) easy to find and create a list for your children. Be sure to outline the rules for your kids too, give them a time frame and a safe area where they can look for the things on their lists.

It is vitally important that kids weight loss is a priority. Create an environment where your kids can make healthy choices easily. Lead by example. Encourage healthy habits in your children by setting a good example. By doing this you are creating a foundation for the best opportunity for your child to grow into a healthy adult.

If you’re feeling like you need a little bit of help in the healthy family arena, you can help jumpstart your new routine by enrolling in a family weight loss camp. Enrolling in a weight loss camp provides guidance and inspiration for kids and adults alike.  Camps are a great way to put a healthy lifestyle in a positive light, especially if you come across more than just a little resistance.

No matter how you approach these games and general tips to a healthy family lifestyle, you are fostering your child’s self growth and decision making skills. By cultivating an environment where your kids can easily make healthy choices you are reinforcing a lifelong healthy relationship that your child will carry with them the rest of their lives.

For more fun ideas check out these websites:

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/05/50-outdoor-summer-activities-for-kids.html

http://www.thetaylor-house.com/nature-scavenger-hunt-for-kids/

7 Tips To Get Kids To Move

Exercising is a vital step in safeguarding your child’s health. Simply put, movement is a key ingredient for a healthy lifestyle. It sounds simple, but like most things, it is easier to say that you will create a fitness routine than to actually implement one. But there is hope! We have created a short list to help you get your child moving. 

One of the most important factors to developing a new routine is staying in the right mind-set. It is important that you, as a parent, approach this new routine with excitement, positivity and patience.

  1. Incentivize. Motivate your child to exercise by finding incentives that are special to him or her.
  2. Set a realistic goal. Set smaller goals that build into an overall greater goal for your child to get fit. If the goal is too large it could become discouraging and overwhelming.
  3. Don’t approach it as exercise. Have your child choose a movement centered activity that he or she enjoys.
  4. Make time for your fitness routine. Everyone is busy, so it is important to make a schedule for your routine.
  5. Encourage your child after setbacks. Life will get in the way and cause your routine to get out of whack every once in a while. So it is important to bounce back from setbacks and encourage your child to stay committed to the goal even when faced with obstacles.
  6. Make a game out of it. For example, when outdoors at a park or while on a walk, take a few different leaves from different trees and ask your child which trees they came from. Make sure to do this when your child isn’t looking.
  7. Take advantage of nature. Take advantage of natural resources in your area. For example, go fishing, canoeing or kayaking at a local lake.

Summer is an excellent opportunity to create a new routine and to establish a healthy lifestyle. Encourage healthy choices and create a supportive environment for summer weight loss by making your child’s health a priority.

Lead by example. When children see their parents making healthy choices it is easier for the child to follow suit. If you, as a parent, aren’t practicing what you preach there won’t be a lot of incentive for your child to either.

You and your family can develop a healthy routine by making just few changes to your existing routine. Providing a strong foundation is the best opportunity you can give to your child to help them grow into a healthy adult. It is so important that kids weight loss is a priority to parents and you can help by creating an environment that enables your kids to make healthy choices easily.

You can jumpstart your new routine by enrolling in a family weight loss camp. Enrolling in a weight loss camp provides guidance and inspiration for kids and adults alike.  Camps are a great way to put a healthy lifestyle in a positive light, especially if you come across more than just a little resistance.

Whether you are getting help from professionals at a camp or using a self directed approach to wellness, you are supporting your child’s self growth and decision making skills. By cultivating an environment where your child can easily make healthy choices you are reinforcing a healthy lifestyle that your child will carry with them the rest of their lives.

10 Diet Tips For A Healthier Family

A Healthy Diet:

Summer is the perfect time to get back in shape and establish a healthy lifestyle. Foster a supportive environment for summer weight loss by making your kids health a priority. You and your family can develop a positive relationship with food by making a just few changes to your routine.

It is so important that kids weight loss is a priority to parents. Create an environment where your kids can make nutritional choices easily.

Lead by example. When parents encourage healthy eating habits in children it can build into a wholesome lifelong relationship with food. This relationship can provide a strong foundation and the best opportunity to grow into a healthy adult.

Here are a few tips to help cultivate healthy eating habits in children.

  1. Have regular Family meals. Have an approximate time that you have dinner as a family each night. Having dinner as a family doesn’t just foster healthier eating habits; it is also a time where the family can reconnect.
  2. Never use food as a reward. This could cause children to develop a weight problem later in life. Instead, incentivize them with something fun or physical like a trip to the park or game night.
  3. Praise healthy choices. It is so important to praise children when they make good decisions. Give them the pride in ownership of that good choice.
  4. Don’t ridicule unhealthy choices. Remember the power of positive reinforcement. You’re your children choose unhealthy options, suggest healthier alternatives. For example, instead of regular potato chips and dip, offer tortilla chips with salsa. Instead of purchasing French fries, opt for cut up roasted potatoes with a bit of olive oil. For children with a sweet tooth, pick up some dried fruit or dip strawberries in dark chocolate for a fun and fresh treat.
  5. Keep healthy food on hand. We all eat what is available, so keep healthy snacks easily accessible. Children can only choose from what is stocked in the house.
  6. Set a good example. Children love to imitate, so it is important to set a good example for them. Parents shouldn’t be asking their children to eat fruits and veggies when they are gorging themselves on potato chips and soda.
  7. Get the kids involved. Make going to the grocery store fun by allowing children to help choose healthy options to add to their lunch boxes. This also can be used as an educational opportunity for parents to teach children about the nutritional values of different foods.
  8. Limit portion sizes. Put the right portions on everyone’s plate by assembling them in the kitchen and don’t ever insist that your child cleans the plate.
  9. Don’t label foods as good or bad. Connect healthy foods to things that your child cares about, such as sports or doing well in school. Teach your child that lean protein and calcium can help build strength for sports or that a well balanced breakfast can help them to stay focus and alert in class.
  10. 10.   Avoid placing restrictions on food. Restricting food can often have a negative effect when most parents think that they are doing the right thing. When a parent restricts food, it increases the possibility of that child growing to develop an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Talk to your child about all the healthy options and don’t make food the enemy.

You can help jump start your new routine by enrolling in a family weight loss camp. Enrolling in a weight loss camp provides guidance and inspiration for kids and adults alike.  Camps are a great way to put a healthy lifestyle in a positive light, especially if you come across more than just a little resistance.

No matter how you approach these steps to health, whether it is with the help of professionals at a camp or self directed, you are supporting your child’s self growth and decision making skills. By cultivating an environment where your kids can easily make healthy nutritional choices, you are reinforcing a healthy relationship with food that your child will carry with them the rest of their lives.

New Image Camp

Come join us at our summer weight loss camp retreat! New Image Camps is the premier weight loss destination with two private lakefront weight loss camps for kids; Camp Pocono Trails in Pennsylvania and Camp Vanguard in Florida. Children ages 7-21 are invited to a summer they will never forget.

Our camps, which have been featured on MTV, are packed full of all types of summer camp activities and fun! All are aimed toward a successful summer of weight loss, new friendships, and a healthy lifestyle. We invite you to compare camps and see why we are the most successful weight loss summer camp!

Recipe: Modified, Healthier Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo is a favorite for all, but it can be pack with calories. Make it at home, substituting margarine for butter, and skim milk and low fat cream cheese for whipping cream. You won’t taste the different, but your body will see the difference!

Ingredients

  • 1 T. margarine
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 c. skim milk
  • 2 T. low fat cream cheese
  • 1 /14 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 4 c. hot cooked fettuccine cooked in water without oil or salt
  • 2 t. chopped fresh parsley and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  • Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  • Stir in flour.
  • Gradually add milk, stirring with a wire whisk until blended.
  • Cook for 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in cream cheese, cook 2 min.
  • Add 1 c. Parmesan cheese and stir constantly until it melts. Then pour over hot, cooked fettuccine and toss well to coat.
  • Top with remaining 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and pepper.

Add Ons

  • For extra protein add a cut up, cooked lean chicken breast.
  • For the daily serving of vegetables add broccoli or peas.

Camper Favorite: Recipe for Pita Pizza

Pita PizzaHealthy, Nutritious and Delicious! Pita Pizza has become a favorite lunch dish at Camp Pocono Trails and Camp Vanguard, and it’s easy and fun to make at home!

For 1 Serving of Pita Pizza:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce (bonus points for homemade)
  • 1 pita (2 ounces)
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Dash of each: garlic salt, pepper and oregano

Directions

  • Spoon tomato sauce over pizza.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and spices.
  • Bake at 350 until cheese melts.
  • Add desired toppings, keeping in mind vegetable are the best option!

Throwing a party? Set up a pita pizza toppings bar so each child can make their own!

 

Recipes: Healthy Breakfast Pizza

Not only is the breakfast pizza healthy and nutritious, it’s a fun way to get the family in the kitchen together on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Give each family member to opportunity to cater the breakfast pizza toppings to his or her taste!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Light English Muffin
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • 1 Piece light mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 teaspoon whipped light butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • optional other vegetables and toppings

Directions:

  • Preheat over (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees
  • In a small dish, combine butter and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
  • Bring pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat, heat on the stove. Cook tomato slices for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly blackened.
  • Split English muffin into halves. Spread garlic-butter mixture evenly over both halves. Top each half evenly with mozzarella cheese strips.
  • Place three basil leaves on top of each cheese-topped muffin half followed by tomato slices.

Per serving: 185 calories, 5g fat, 23.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 1.5g sugar, 14g protien

Fitness for Kids: Benefits of Instilling Physical Fitness Habits at a Young Age

Fitness for Kids at New Image CampsHumans are active by nature, but lately more and more kids become stagnant by watching too much TV, surfing the web and playing video games—a habit that becomes harder and harder to break with age.

According to the CDC’s State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, it’s recommended that children be active at least 60 minutes or more a day and that adults have at least 150 minutes of moderately intensive exercise and 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. The need for exercise, and fitness for kids and adults, never fades.

While that much exercise might not sound like a lot, many young adults never learn how to instill exercise into their routine. Learning at a young age, and by example, can solidify a habit or value for life, and one habit we all need is that of movement and exercise. This is why it’s important for you to be the role model and instill an active lifestyle into your child from the beginning.

“The earlier you start encouraging your child to be active, the better it is to develop good habits that will last a lifetime,” said Tricia Winfield, associate director at Camp Pocono Trails.

“If they don’t, they develop bad habits such as overeating and lethargic attitudes,” adds Samuel Friedman, fitness director at Camp Pocono Trails. “It [also] helps with socialization; if a child is part of an organized activity he or she will be able to meet other active kids.”

Other benefits of physical activity being learned at an early age is building strong bones and muscle; decreasing the risk of childhood onset diabetes, hypertension or stroke; better sleep; and a decrease in depression.

Although instilling fitness values into your child starts at home, it’s helpful to seek outside role models such as sport’s team coaches or camp counselors to reinforce the importance of this value.

At Camp Pocono Trails and Camp Vanguard, children are taught how to participate in various fitness activities and are positively encouraged to continue these at home. They not only learn how to participate but are educated on why movement and exercise is important and should play a role in the rest of their lives.

For information on how to sign your child up for weight loss camp, click here.

And read up on how to keep exercise in your child’s daily routine here.

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