Kick-starting healthy habits

By Suzanne Rent

The first week of December marked the end of our participation in the 60 Minute Kids’ Club Challenge. What did my daughter and I learn over the two months we had to track our fitness, nutrition, sleep, hydration, screen time and helpful thoughts? It was hard. There was a bit of whining. And my daughter complained a little, too. It’s tough fitting exercise into already busy schedules. 

It’s also tough turning off the smartphones and computers and connecting with the real world again. But overall we learned better and healthier habits. When I was shopping for groceries, I’d count the number of vegetables and fruits I purchased. I eliminated all juice, pop and sugary drinks from the fridge. If we were thirsty, we drank water. One day I noticed my daughter wasn’t asking for sugar cereals at breakfast; she was automatically getting fruit. She ran more at school and even did some light weightlifting. And she complimented me on my progress, saying I was more flexible than the woman in the Pilates workout video. 

I learned it was my job to make better choices for my daughter. If it were up to her, she’d eat chocolate and cookies all day. But if you give kids healthy options, and they are hungry, they will eat the healthier foods. I encourage parents to check out the challenge here: It’s a great way to kick-start your way to healthy habits.

In this issue, student correspondent Kate Staatsen tells us about Tilak Arora, who helps new families to the region understand the culture, make new friends, and navigate a new city and school. Mr. Arora helped Kate and her family when they arrived in Halifax from Europe. Also, read Jane Doucet’s story about helping your child deal with grief. And, we learn about Alfie, his mom, Alice, and his school. We’re happy to share this wonderful story about acceptance and inclusion.