Handstand Kids

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Milk: The Perfect Food

We all know that milk does the body good, but are your kids getting as much as they should? With a slew of nutritious elements, such as Calcium, Protein, Riboflavin, Vitamins A, D and B12, along with a host of other good-for-you nutrients, milk is a great way to help your kids grow strong bones, maintain their immune systems and convert food to energy.

Despite all the great things it has proven to do for our bodies, many kids simply refuse to drink milk. To help out, we’ve come up with some fun and easy ways to encourage your kids to drink more milk!

  • Make flavored milk! Chocolate, strawberry or vanilla, make the healthy drink more fun.
  • Warm up some milk and add a little honey and cinnamon to make a toasty before-bedtime drink.
  •  Smoothies! Blend up some fresh fruit and milk to make a great tasting and, of course, great-for-you treat.
  • Freeze milk and your favorite fruit to make healthy popsicles. You can even use different variations of milk like soy and almond!

Click here for more information on the benefits on milk, and let us know about your successes with serving your kids more milk on our Facebook page.

 

Happy New Year from Handstand Kids

With the New Year quickly approaching, it’s time to look back at 2012, pick out and savor precious family memories and promise yourself to be better in the new year.  This is how we grow as people.

Instead of the old stand-by resolutions we often make, such as to lose weight or save money, we look at the travesty that happened earlier this month in Connecticut and challenge all of the parents out there to make this year’s resolutions about the thing that matters most – our families.

Here are some ideas for New Years resolutions that we promise will bring your family closer!

-        Resolve to have “dates” with the kids: Kids and adults crave one-on-one time, but the hustle and bustle of everyday life often gets in the way, plus kids usually have to share the spotlight with siblings. Set aside time for each child to have “dates with mommy” or “dates with daddy.” You can get manicures or even wake up before everyone else in the house for a secret, private breakfast on the porch; just spend time with each child individually and give them your undivided attention.

-        Resolve to have a regular family game night: Whether it’s once a week or once every other month, make the effort to turn off all the electronics and gadgets, and play Monopoly, Scrabble or your family’s favorite old-school board game. The friendly competition is a wonderful opportunity for bonding as a family.

-        Resolve to eat dinner as a family: Instead of grabbing something quick and rushing off to each child’s various activities, put the extra effort into gathering the entire family around the kitchen table for dinner for at least 30 minutes once a week with no TV. It is a great opportunity to hear about everyone’s day and have meaningful conversations with your kids.

-        Resolve to say “yes” more: We certainly don’t mean to imply that you should spoil your kids rotten, but there is something to be said for picking your battles and indulging your kids’ simple wishes occasionally. It’s tempting to say no when we’re busy, have had long days, or are ready to climb into bed. But promise yourself you’ll say yes to the little things more often, and the payoff will be huge. Say “yes” to making cookies on Saturday. Say “yes” to the third bedtime story even though it’s too late. The quality time with your kids and the genuine happiness the “yes” elicits will be well worth it.

Please share your families’ New Years resolutions with us via Facebook or Twitter. Happy New Year from our Handstand Kids family to yours! We hope 2013 fills your home with much love and laughter.

Yum for Kids: Food & Fun Magazine Feature!

Yvette Garfield and Handstand Kids Cookbooks were featured in this month’s issue of Yum for Kids: Food & Fun Magazine! The article talks about how the holiday time can be an opportunity to explore other the traditions of other cultures with your kids! With that in mind, make sure to check out our online store to do your holiday shopping, our cookbooks make for great gifts!

Halloween Costume Contest

With Halloween just around the corner and countless costume options available, we want to encourage you to get creative! Until November 1st, we’ll be holding a Handstand Kids Costume Contest! To enter, post a photo of your Handstand Kid wearing his or her most imaginative Halloween costume to the Handstand Kids Facebook page. We’ll feature your photos on Facebook and on November 2nd, we will select one lucky winner!The most creative costume will win a copy of our fabulous Handstand Kids Baking Cookbook! We can’t wait to see those imaginations run wild, good luck!!

Vote Yvette For The “Women Who Shine” Contest!

Right now, Yahoo.com is putting on the “Women Who Shine” contest for women who have been doing all kids of exceptional work and the founder/creator of Handstand Kids, Yvette Garfield, has been nominated! Make sure to check out the “Women Who Shine” contest and cast your vote for Yvette here! Let’s help Yvette and Handstand Kids take home this amazing award! Thanks for your help!

Celebrate National Pizza Month

The month of October is National Pizza Month!! Pizza doesn’t always have to be unhealthy, take a look at this awesome recipe from our Italian Handstand Kids Cookbook!

To make National Pizza Month extra fun, let your kids’ creativity roam free when arranging and decorating your pizzas! Let us know what fun you have with pizza this month via Facebook or Twitter!

Kids on the Run

According to this article from US News and World Report, if a child shows an interest in running it is important as a parent to encourage them to partake in this activity. Running is a great inexpensive way to help keep kids fit and in shape. Take a look at these tips to help your little runner from the American Council on Exercise:

Let us know how you help out your little runner via Facebook or Twitter!

Back To School Snacks

With the school year starting back up, it is always hard to come up with new ways to get your kids to not fill themselves up on junk food. Here are a few healthy snacking ideas that you can make for your kids. Say goodbye to potato chips and hello to fruit and veggie chips!

Squash Chips

Directions: slice thin, add salt, lay on baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 2-3 hours. Then enjoy!

Sweet Potato Chips

Zucchini Chips

Kale Chips

Let us know what healthy chips you decide to make for your kids on Facebook and Twitter!

Keep Your Kids Safe And Healthy Around The House

According to the Today Show, recently kids have been mistaking potentially hazardous laundry detergent pods for candy. To make sure you keep your children out of harm’s way, always remember to keep non-kid-friendly items in a place that is out of their reach! Take a look at this article and video from the Today Show to learn more about how to keep your kids safe from potential harm!

 

Get Your Kids Off Of The Couch And Out Of The House!

September 7-14 is “Exercise With Your Kids” Week! Check out these 12 tips about how to get your child off of the couch and out of the house for some fun exercise!

Kid Fitness Tip #1: Think outside the playing field.

Not everyone is drawn to organized sports such as soccer or baseball. Look for other activities your child will enjoy — like dancing, rock climbing, swimming, or martial arts. And have patience — it may take some trial and error before your kid finds the right fit.

“It’s probably time to explore another option when your child is no longer having fun,” says Eric Small, MD, a specialist in pediatric/adolescent sports medicine and author of Kids & Sports. “Keep trying different ideas until something clicks. It’s important to get non-athletic kids motivated and moving so they can enjoy a lifelong habit of physical activity.”

Kid Fitness Tip #2: Join in the game.

Kids love it when their parents play with them. So encourage children’s fitness by taking a family hike. Have a game of catch. Walk or bike to school together. Play hopscotch. “You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or special classes to encourage your child to exercise,” says Patricia Nixon, PhD, president-elect of the North American Society of Pediatric Exercise Medicine.

Kid Fitness Tip #3: Limit screen time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids get no more than one to two hours of screen time a day, whether that’s watching TV, surfing the Internet, or playing video games. But many children spend four or more hours each day in front of a screen. Encourage active alternatives to these passive pastimes, such as shooting hoops at the local playground, walking the dog, or a game of tag.

To help keep temptation at bay, remove TVs from bedrooms and put the computer in a shared space where you can supervise. If you have teens, set guidelines about other sedentary pursuits like chatting on the phone or text messaging.

Kid Fitness Tip #4: Lead by example.

If you vegetate in front of the TV every night, the remote control in one hand and a bag of chips in the other, you’re not practicing what you preach. And your kids aren’t likely to respect restrictions you set on their screen time either. So check your own viewing behavior and serve as a role model by incorporating physical activity into your everyday life. When you can, walk instead of driving. Climb the stairs rather than wait for the elevator. Regularly participate in active pursuits that you enjoy and let your kids see — and hear about — how much you enjoy them.

Kid Fitness Tip #5: Offer positive feedback.

Praise a child for perfecting that handstand or figuring out how to pump those legs to swing high in the sky. Out-of-shape or uncoordinated children need to hear encouragement for reaching even small goals, such as walking or biking further than last time. Remember, acknowledge the effort — choosing to be active or trying to improve a skill — rather than the outcome to help build your child’s confidence, says Small.

Children who aren’t naturally athletic may be self-conscious about their physical skills (or lack of them). They may also fear public failure, embarrassment, or teasing. A child may just be physically cautious. These kids need all the support and cheerleading you can offer. Nagging or negative comments don’t work and will only serve to make your child feel bad, adds Nixon, who conducts research on physical activity and children at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Kid Fitness Tip #6: Bring a friend along.

Kids love to hang out with their peers, so invite a buddy along for a bike ride, offer to bring a friend ice-skating, or head to the pool with a companion. Young children enjoy going to the playground with friends to chase, climb, swing, slide, and run. If your child is more likely to check out a team sport with a friend in tow, then go ahead and sign her up. Just make sure the focus is on making fitness fun and learning new skills — not competition and winning — as this can dampen your child’s enthusiasm for the game.

Kid Fitness Tip #7: Use exercise as a reward.

Forcing a child to go outside and play may backfire and increase resentment and resistance. “Exercise should never be punitive,” says Small. “Don’t make your child run laps or do push-ups as punishment.” Instead, try using physical activity as a reward. Your child might be happy to play kickball for 20 minutes if it’s a chance to take a break from homework.

Kid Fitness Tip #8: Establish a regular routine.

Make sure that children’s fitness is plugged into the family schedule in the same way that school, work, shopping, chores, family gatherings, birthday parties, and playdates find their way onto the calendar. You and your child are more likely to stick to an exercise plan if you incorporate it into your life on a routine basis. And your child will begin to expect (and accept) that Saturday morning usually means a bike ride, and a couple of nights a week after dinner the family takes a brisk walk through the neighborhood.

Kid Fitness Tip #9: Take a non-negotiable position.

Is going to school, brushing teeth, or wearing a seat belt a subject of debate in your home? No, because these are all activities that promote the health, safety, and well-being of your child. Well, the same approach should apply to children’s fitness, says Nixon. It’s a no-brainer: Getting regular exercise is good for your mental and physical health. Stand firm from the get-go and don’t let your child argue the merits of playing computer games versus playing ball games.

Kid Fitness Tip #10: Instill the idea that exercise is in.

Some kids really respond to the concept of doing something that’s cool. Maybe your child wants to grind on a skateboard like Tony Hawke, deliver a karate kick a la Bruce Lee, learn the latest hip hop routine, or master the moves of capoeira. Older children, in particular, may have strong opinions about what’s hip and what isn’t. If it’s safe and active and encourages your child to get in shape, then allow your kid to pick an activity that appeals to his sense of style.

Kid Fitness Tip #11: Put your child in charge.

Let each kid take a turn choosing an active weekend pursuit or after school activity. The nature lover may vote for a hike, the adventurer may opt for a trip to the nearest jungle gym or climbing wall. More sedentary souls may select an activity — like walking, biking, or scootering — with a destination in mind, such as a visit to the local library. Whether you wind up at a batting cage, bowling alley, or belly dancing class, they all count as children’s fitness activities and your child can feel a sense of control over the situation. For younger kids, however, you may want to limit how many options they have to choose from.

Kid Fitness Tip #12: Make it fun.

Little children don’t need much encouragement to stretch like a cat, run like a tiger, or jump like a kangaroo. And they’ll have a blast doing it. And don’t forget, grade schoolers still enjoy the opportunity for free play — inside or out — after a day spent at the desk. Stuck inside with tweens or teens on a rainy day? Then break out an action-oriented dance video game, to get your youngsters expending some energy. Younger children may enjoy just putting on some music to dance up a storm together. Whatever the activity, you want to keep the fun in kid fitness.

How will you and your family celebrate in “Exercise With Your Kids” Week? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter!

*The tips mentioned in this post were taken from this article on WebMD.com