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Tag Archives: Nutrition for Kids

  1. Kid Fitness Center Transforms Lives

    Currently there are over 37,000 fitness and weight loss centers for adults in the US. And thanks to the boutique fitness boom, every year more gyms are being built to help adults lose weight and get fit. All the while our obesity epidemic has reached a record 40 percent, up 13 percent from just 20 years ago.

    It is estimated that by 2030 nearly half of all US residents will be obese. This is a staggering number considering the number of gyms and diets that are out there. If a person wants to be fit all they need to do is workout a few times per week and stick to a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables.

    If it was that easy we would all be fit and healthy. However, our obesity epidemic will only get worse since our teens are exchanging an active lifestyle for a sedentary one of screen time and video games. Also, there are a lot of kids today that refuse to eat vegetables or simply are not getting enough.

    The amount of food children eat is also one of the most important parts of building a fit lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight. What kids and teens eat daily now will impact their health including risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It will also affect their quality of life for many years to come.

    Teach Kids Healthy Habits Early

    Habits are actions and behaviors that we perform subconsciously and they are very difficult to break. Studies show that the habits that we develop early and are formed in childhood related to eating and exercise carry over into adulthood. And once poor health habits emerge they tend to be long lasting.

    For example, research has indicated that 97% of people who lose weight regain it again within 5 years. Yes, our health habits are really that hard to change! That is why if you want to help your child develop good habits that are associated with a longer and healthier life you have to start at a very early age.

    Over the last 6 years we have helped hundreds of kids and teens build healthy eating and exercise habits. Katherine (pictured below) was one of our first kids to join our program back in 2015 when she was only 11 years old. Recently, she came to visit us to thank us. Today she is a strong and healthy teen.

    At Kalina’s Fitness, we are a lot more than just a fitness center. Our mission is to give kids and teens (ages 8-18) the tools to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. And while most programs only focus on exercise classes, nutritional counseling, or group support, our program includes all three. We give kids all the tools they need to achieve their fitness and weight loss goals!

    1. Personalized Nutrition Plan

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. MyPlate is an effective way for your child to learn how to control their portions with an easy to understand illustration that will teach them how to build a healthy plate.

    2. Complete Group Support

    All our group support classes are designed to help kids stay motivated and get the encouragement they need. With the assistance of an expert counselor, our group support classes discuss positive thinking, body image, self-esteem, anti-bullying strategies, dealing with stress, goal setting, problem solving, nutrition, and much more. It is all about empowering our kids with the tools to be successful.

    3. Unlimited Exercise Classes

    Our exercise classes are designed to help kids get in shape no matter what their current level of activity is. By combining short bursts of cardio with recovery periods, your child will burn more calories than exercising at the same pace in just half the time. All our classes include 30 minutes of exercise as well as 30 minutes of group support to help our kids stay physically and mentally in shape.

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. It is all about learning balance and consistency and having the right guidance and support to succeed. Let us help your child become an amazing version of themselves and schedule your free class today. We look forward to serving you and your family with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

  2. 5 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

    Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends is one of our favorite time of the year! However, while the holidays are a great time to get together, every party and gathering is also an excuse for us to take a break from our healthy eating habits. The good news is that there are things you can do to stay fit.

    The real meaning of Thanksgiving is not to feast but to give thanks. By focusing on gratitude you and your family will be able to eat consciously and joyfully while not packing the extra pounds. Follow these 5 nutrition tips to help you and your family cut calories without depriving anyone of a feast:

    #1: Skip Extra Portions and Servings

    Before you fill your plate, look around the buffet table and decide what you want to eat. Then select a reasonable portion of the foods that will satisfy your cravings. The trick is to resist the temptation to go back for second servings. Besides Thanksgiving leftovers are much better the next day! If you can limit yourself to just one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have room still available for a small dessert.

    #2: Fill 1/2 of Your Plate with Veggies

    If you are planning to visit family, make sure to take a salad bowl or vegetable plate. Otherwise be a health-conscious host and prepare plenty of veggies for everyone! Adding veggies to your plate will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy foods. Also, try to avoid cheese, cream, and butter.

    For many families mac and cheese is sometimes hard to avoid during Thanksgiving. But with several types of cheese, milk, and breadcrumbs, you might want to take just a tiny spoonful during your feast. To make your meal healthier skip the mac and cheese and choose a side dish of sweet potatoes.

    #3: Don’t Skip Breakfast and Lunch

    It is a big mistake to fast before a big meal or party. When people skip meals, they end up feeling so hungry by dinnertime that they sometimes behave irrationally and overeat. Don’t make this mistake! Make sure you and your family have a regular breakfast and lunch to avoid packing on the pounds.

    Studies show that teens who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who eat three meals a day. The fact is that skipping meals slows down your metabolism and causes you to eat more throughout the day. So make it a priority to have breakfast with your family on Thanksgiving.

    #4: Enjoy More Water, Less Dessert

    Remember to drink plenty of water before and during your meal since it will help your stomach to stay full and keep you from overeating. Teens cannot replace water with juices or diet sodas. Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate while juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that affect our hormone levels. Sugary drinks are simply empty calories and devoid of any nutrients.

    As for sweets, try to limit your portion to one serving of dessert. Your best bet is a slice of pumpkin pie since it has 40% fewer calories than pecan pie. Pumpkin also delivers fiber and, like all orange foods, pumpkins are packed with carotenoids which can help tackle free radicals and decrease inflammation. 

    #5: Make Fitness a Family Priority

    Take a walk early in the day with your family and again after dinner. Make fitness a family adventure! It’s the perfect way for your family to get physical activity during your special time together. Having the ability to move, breathe, and share life with your family will make you feel even more grateful.

    Eating less and exercising more is also the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. By making smart choices that allow you to feel both satisfied and energized simultaneously, you will not feel deprived during Thanksgiving or feel stuffed and sluggish. This balance will help you stay fit!

    Focus on Weight Maintenance

    The holiday season is a time for celebration! However, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during this time of the year. If you and your family can shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance and control portions, then eating healthy during the holidays will not be as hard.

    If you have any questions please let us know. At Kalina’s Fitness we are always here to help you and your family build healthy habits that last a lifetime. Our program combines nutrition, support, and exercise classes to empower kids and teens with the tools they need to achieve their fitness goals.

    We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. Let us help your child become an amazing version of themselves and register for your Free Class today. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Thank you for visiting us!

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  3. Nutrition is the Key to Weight Loss

    Adolescence is a time of growth spurts, puberty changes, and emotional and social development. Kids and teens need proper nutrition to support bones growing, hormonal changes, and brain and tissue maturation. However, they do not always eat the best foods and dieting to cut calories is not healthy.

    So how does a teen maintain a healthy weight and not fall short on essential nutrients they need? The USDA recommends that families use MyPlate and kids eat a balanced nutrition consisting of 3 meals a day and 2 healthy snacks. What teens eat affects their attention, memory, overall health, and weight.

    MyPlate is a Great Visual Tool! 🙂

    The USDA’s MyPlate program was designed to make balanced eating easy to visualize and apply to everyday life. Teens can clearly see that half of their plate should be filled with colorful fruits and veggies, about ¼ with lean protein and the remaining part left for grains, half of them being whole.

    But you might be wondering: Do I have to serve all the food groups at each meal? Do I really have to give my kids veggies for breakfast? If breakfast or lunch doesn’t include a veggie or fruit, give them at snack time or dinner. Use the plate as a guide for planning and serving a variety of healthy foods.

    The goal is to think of the plate as an entire day’s worth of eating: So, throughout the day, try to make half of what your kids eat vegetables and fruits, and the other half grains and protein foods. An occasional treat is fine, but be careful to limit foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.

    You can teach your kids how to use MyPlate by focusing on these five simple messages: 1) Half of a healthy plate should always include fruits and vegetables, 2) Drink water instead of soda and sugary juices, 3) Make half of your grains whole, 4) Go lean with protein, and 5) Try more healthy snacks.

    The pictures on the left below show an unhealthy plate. However, by using MyPlate an unbalanced plate can easily become a balanced and healthy plate. It is all a matter of adding more fruits and veggies, cutting back on grains, and eating less carbohydrates, refined carbohydrates in particular.

    By changing the meals below from an unhealthy to a balanced plate, we reduced the total calories from 7,224 to only 2,399 calories. That is almost 5,000 less calories! Keep in mind that it is important to avoid fried foods and instead make grilling and cooking at home a daily habit. Also MyPlate is not just for kids, but for adults too. So get the whole family involved and start today making it a healthy plate!

    Nutrition is 80% of Weight Loss

    When it comes to losing weight nutrition is 80% of the work and exercise is 20%. The reason nutrition is more effective to lose weight than exercise is because it takes a ton of activity to burn 700 calories. Since 3,500 calories equals 1 pound, you will need to run 7 to 10 miles a day to lose 1 pound a week. The average person can’t keep that up for a month especially without increasing their caloric intake.

    Instead it is much easier to create a 700 calorie deficit through nutrition than it is to burn 700 calories through exercise. Teens don’t need to hit an exact 80/20 ratio to lose weight but they should focus primarily on nutrition if they want to shed pounds. It also should be done in a safe and healthy way! Teens are growing and they need essential nutrients so it is important that they say NO to Fad Diets.

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give teens (ages 8-18) the tools they need to transform their lives and build healthy habits that will last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals. We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register today for a Free Day Pass so we can help your child to build healthy habits and get fit.  We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

  4. Nutrition Tips for Kids and Teens

    What kids and teens eat daily now will impact their health and quality of life for many years to come. The amount of food children eat is also one of the most important parts of building a fit lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight. Since children and adults have different calorie and nutrition needs, how much your child eats will affect their weight and risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

    MyPlate is an easy to follow food guide that was created by the USDA to help parents feed their kids nutritious meals. With its new icon, MyPlate reminds us how to eat better by showing a balanced plate that divides the four food groups into equally sized sections: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, and Protein.

    This is a big change from the food pyramid that made grains the largest food group by placing it at the bottom of the pyramid. As a result, the food pyramid overemphasized grains with 6-11 daily servings and gave less importance to vegetables and fruits with only 5-9 servings from these two food groups.

    The MyPlate icon makes it easier for kids and teens to eat healthy since now every food group has an equal portion on their plate. What your child eats and drinks will impact almost every aspect of their well-being including quality of life, risk of disease, self-esteem, academic performance, and energy. 

    MyPlate is a Great Visual Tool

    The USDA’s MyPlate program was designed to make balanced eating easy to visualize and apply to everyday life. Kids can clearly see that half of their plate should be filled with colorful fruits and veggies, about ¼ with lean protein and the remaining part left for grains, half of them being whole.

    But you might be wondering: Do I have to serve all the food groups at each meal? Do I really have to give my kids veggies for breakfast? If breakfast or lunch doesn’t include a veggie or fruit, give them at snack time or dinner. Use the plate as a guide for planning and serving a variety of healthy foods.

    The goal is to think of the plate as an entire day’s worth of eating: So, throughout the day, try to make half of what your kids eat vegetables and fruits, and the other half grains and protein foods. An occasional treat is fine, but be careful to limit foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.

    You can teach your kids how to use MyPlate by focusing on these five simple messages: 1) Half of a healthy plate should always include fruits and vegetables, 2) Drink water instead of soda and sugary juices, 3) Make half of your grains whole, 4) Go lean with protein, and 5) Try more healthy snacks.

    The pictures on the left below show an unhealthy plate. However, by using MyPlate an unbalanced plate can easily become a balanced and healthy plate. It is all a matter of adding more fruits and veggies, cutting back on grains, and eating less carbohydrates, refined carbohydrates in particular.

    By changing the meals below from an unhealthy to a balanced plate, we reduced the total calories from 7,224 to only 2,399 calories. That is almost 5,000 less calories! Keep in mind that it is important to avoid fried foods and instead make grilling and cooking at home a daily habit. Also MyPlate is not just for kids, but for adults too. So get the whole family involved and start today making it a healthy plate!

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give teens (ages 8-18) the tools they need to transform their lives and build healthy habits that will last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals. We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register today for a Free Day Pass so we can help your child to build healthy habits and get fit.  We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

  5. Tasty Smoothies for Picky Eaters

    While doing nutrition plans for our kids and teens, we often find that children today don’t get the amount of vegetables that is recommended by MyPlate. We are big fans of healthy smoothies for kids, especially when they are packed full of nutritious ingredients. To help your family eat more veggies,  we want to share with you these four delicious smoothies that are bright, colorful, and healthy too!

    Butternut Squash Smoothie

    Drink your veggies with this tasty yellow smoothie your whole family will love!

    Serves: 1 large smoothie, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    3/4 cup steamed butternut squash
    2 large Medjool dates
    1 tablespoon chia seeds
    1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and cinnamon

    Directions:
    Toss all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until you reach desired smoothness.
    Optional: Drizzle with nut butter, and sprinkle sunflower seeds on top.

    Strawberry Beet Smoothie

    This tasty pink smoothie is the perfect balance of healthy nutrition and yummy treat!

    Serves: 2 large smoothies, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    1 cup chopped raw beets (peeled)
    1 cup frozen strawberries
    1 banana
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Directions:
    Toss all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until you reach desired smoothness.
    Optional: Sprinkle with sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and cinnamon on top.

    Pineapple Spinach Smoothie

    This healthy green smoothie is filled with spinach and is both kid friendly and mom-approved!

    Serves: 2 large smoothies, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    2 cups packed baby spinach
    2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
    1 cup orange juice
    1 banana

    Directions:
    Put the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until mixture is smooth.
    Serve immediately for smoothies, or freeze in reusable popsicle molds.

    Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

    This delicious purple smoothie is filled with blueberries, spinach, strawberries, and banana!

    Serves: 2 large smoothies, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1 cup packed baby spinach
    2/3 cup frozen blueberries
    1/2 cup strawberries
    1 banana

    Directions:
    Add all of the ingredients to a blender, cover with the lid, and whirl until smooth.
    Add more milk if needed to reach the desired consistency and taste for sweetness.

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids (ages 8-18) the tools they need to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals. We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register your child today for a Free Day Pass so we can start helping your family use MyPlate.  We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

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