Get a Move On – Trip Around the World Part 2

tzatzikiOur first stop in inspiring kids to eat fun foods from around the world is Greece.  A country on the Mediterranean Sea, Greece is known for lots of yummy foods like olives, grapes and cucumber sauce called “tzatziki” (pronounced zot-zee-kee). Greek people love to eat tzatziki with veggie sticks or bread – and kids love to help their parents make it.

Try it for yourself! You’ll need:

  • 1 cucumber chopped really small
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt (or…minced garlic and a little table salt)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix the four ingredients together – kids are great mixers, so get them involved. Have fun learning about how Greece is made up of over 1,400 islands – and is home of the very first Olympics – while munching on carrot sticks and tzatziki. As they say in Greece – OPA! (Which means “hooray!”)

Next stop? Kenya!

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get a Move On – Healthy Habits Around the World – Part 1

Inspire your kids with fun foods! Consider taking a trip through your grocery store and learn about the world we live in. If you have a picky eater – or you just want to try new things – learning about food in various countries is a great way to start. It’s also a great way to get your child involved and learning.

There are many ways to get going – start by picking a food or a country – and ask your child to help. Take time to look up where the country is by using a map or the internet. Then, encourage your child to think about what life might be like for kids in that country.  In the following weeks, we’ll look at various foods and cultures around the world including Greece, Kenya, Japan, Australia, Brazil and the Native Americans of the USA. Enjoy the trip around the world!

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get a Move On – Healthy Habits

With portion sizes of many foods over double what they were 20 years ago, we have to help our children build healthy food habits at a young age. Starting around age 4, your child loses the ability to self-regulate when they are full. So, helping them understand how and when to eat will be essential building blocks for their future.

Here are eight simple rules to build healthy food habits

  1. Recognize children’s appetites vary from day to day and meal to meal
  2. Time meals and snacks to allow hunger, but not too much
  3. Allow food jags to run their course
  4.  Don’t insist on the “clean plate club”
  5. Present food without comment about likes or dislikes
  6. Don’t use food as a reward
  7. Don’t bargain, bribe, lecture, shame or threaten.

Get on the right track now – your kids will thank you for it!

Get a Move On – Yum Yum

While it’s easy to say “eat healthy,” it can be difficult to know what to feed your child after you’ve heard “I’m hungry” for the 15th time in a day. Healthy snacks that boost brain power and strengthen bones and muscles don’t have to be difficult to make. Here are a few easy recipes to get your little one on the right snack track. Encourage your child to help out – it’s a great way to practice math, reading and science, too!

Monkey Mix

1 Cup Banana Chips

1 Cup Flaked Coconut

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

3 Cups Toasted O Cereal  (like Cheerios)

Mix all the ingredients in a zip-top bag and shake well.


Fish in a Pond

1/2 cup lowfat cream cheese or cheese spread
Fish-shaped crackers
4 celery ribs, stems removed

Scoop the cream cheese into a bowl. (You can tint the cream cheese with blue food coloring to make it look like a pond.) Dip the celery sticks into the cheese, then into the bowl of crackers to “catch” a fish.

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get A Move On – Never Give Up

Every child is special. No parent or guardian is perfect. You will hit bumps along the way.

Sometimes I think my kids might fire me from my job.

Sometimes I want to sell my kids for a quarter.

It’s the most rewarding job of your life – with no instruction  manual, no “right” way and so many challenges you think your head might spin right off.

Yes, childhood obesity is on the rise. But you can do something about it! During the last few months, this blog have given you tips and benchmarks, ideas and suggestions. No one suggestion will solve the problem, but just as your child learned to walk, speak or read – you simply try and try again. Embrace what is special in your child and help them grow. If they love to read, take a walk and have them tell you their favorite story. If they love to dance, turn off the TV and turn on the radio – have a dance party in your kitchen. You’ll figure it out! Goodness knows our “Friday Night Dance Party” (now quite the serious tradition) simply started from an exhausted momma and dadda just trying to limp along until bed time.

But they memories they have – the love of dance and movement – their attentiveness in music class – their songs from the back seat…oh, how those memories are worth the trial and error it took to get there.

It’s time for a break – Spring Break – and whether you’re going to stay home or travel the globe, this is just your “you can do it!” inspiration to not give up – keep moving, keep learning. We’ve got more tips coming after the break! Stay Tuned!!

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get a Move On – An Active Family

Throughout the year, we’ve encouraged you to get up, get moving and get active with your child. As your little one grows, so does their curiosity regarding the world around them. Coach them along – get out there an experience their world, they will love you for it.

Still need a few ideas? Here are a few tips for family fitness fun!

  • Schedule regular times throughout the week for your family to be physically active
  • Help everyone find something active that they enjoy and feel successful doing
  • Use a pedometer to determine which activities require the most steps
  • Write down personal goals and track everyone’s progress
  • Wear loose fitting clothing and proper shoes to permit freedom of movement.
  • Be sure to warm up. Stay flexibly by stretching and cool down following your workout.

Remember, it doesn’t not have to cost a lot of money to activate the family!

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get a Move On – Developing the Individual

funky-kidsYour child is a beautiful individual – special and unique in his/her own right. As your child becomes more aware that others are part of their universe, it’s important to encourage individuality as well as being part of society. Take a look at a few benchmarks below – as your child blossoms, keep track of their milestones and discuss any concerns with your pediatrician.


  • Begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of abilities and characteristics
  • Develops capacity for independence in activities, routines and tasks


  • Shows progress in expressing feelings, needs and opinions in difficult circumstances and conflicts without harming themselves, others or property
  • Develops a growing understanding of how their actions affect others


  • Increases ability to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing and discussing
  • Shows increasing ability to use compromise and discussion in working, playing and resolving conflicts

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get a Move On – Music That Moves You

music-11Creative Arts is not limited to wealthy patrons in opera boxes or the superstar on the radio – it’s the very painting your child creates, the plays they put on and the songs they sing. Encourage your child to create as their mind and imagination develops. Show them that the stars they see can become their very own!

In our continuing series of Get a Move On – we look at fundamental benchmarks of where your young child should be relative to their peers. As always, with any concerns you have, make sure to speak to your pediatrician. Each child is perfectly made in his/her own way!


  • Participates with increasing interest in musical activities
  • Experiments with a variety of instruments


  • Progresses in ability to draw, paint, model for creative expression
  • Gains the ability in using different art media and materials


  • Expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard through music
  • Shows growth in moving in time to music

Dramatic Play

  • Participates in a variety of dramatic play that become more extended and complex
  • Shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in play situations

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get a Move On – It’s Not All Bugs

emc2To a little child, the world around them is fascinating. Their budding curiosity will help them grow in areas beyond bug catching and worm hunting. Their ability to practice scientific skills, knowledge and methods give them the confidence to wonder why the sky is blue or how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Check to see if your child is on track in the building blocks of science skills:

Scientific Skills & Methods

  • Begins to use all five senses
  • Begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations and form generalizations
  • Begins to describe and discuss predictions, explanations and generalizations based on experience

Scientific Knowledge

  • Expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and environment
  • Develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to time and temperature

Should you have any concerns about your budding scientist, please contact your pediatrician.

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Get a Move On – The Numbers Game

Do you remember “One, two, buckle my shoe!” Do you end each day with “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed?” Little songs that help children learn to count are invaluable to their growth in mathematics. However, just as important as counting to 10 is their ability to see things spatially and be able to find patterns. Check out your child’s mathematics skills with the following benchmarks:

Numbers & Operations

  • Develops ability to count in order to 10 and beyond
  • Begins to use language to compare numbers of objects with terms such as more, less, greater than, less than

Geometry & Spatial Sense

  • Progresses in ability to put together and take apart shapes
  • Increasingly aware of up, down, over, under, top, bottom, inside and outside

Patterns & Measurement

  • Increasing ability to match, sort, put in a series and regroup objects
  • Begins to make comparisons between objects on a single attribute

Don’t forget to add movement to your counting! Perhaps they don’t need to be jumping on the bed – but counting stairs – or how many times they can reach for the sky while you cook dinner – every little bit counts. And the added perk? You just might tire them out a little faster for bedtime! Who doesn’t love bedtime!!

This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.