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Bring home the gold with healthy snacks

Mon., Feb. 22, 2010

A healthy, fruit-filled breakfast is a great way to start the day. asdf (asdf)
A healthy, fruit-filled breakfast is a great way to start the day. asdf (asdf)

As I watch the Winter Olympics on television, I am inspired by the discipline and commitment of the world’s greatest athletes.

While these skiers, skaters and the like have professional trainers supporting them to do their best, we parents can be “coaches” for our families as we create our own goals for a healthy and active lifestyle.

First, declare that it’s time to get into shape. Some ideas to get you started:

•Have a gold-medal way to start the day. Just like the athletes, you can have your own morning “training table” in a snap with this tasty medley.

In a serving-size bowl, let your kids make a base layer of sliced bananas. Spread cottage cheese over the bananas, and then scatter nuts or granola.

Add a layer of fresh fruit, such as blueberries, raspberries, chopped apple, sliced strawberries or kiwi and a large spoonful of your favorite yogurt. Garnish with a whole strawberry. Enjoy with whole-grain toast on the side.

Tip: Make an extra portion and toss it all in the blender the following morning with some fruit juice for an easy-to-prepare smoothie.

•Get in shape together. Make it a habit to take walks in the neighborhood. When the weekend comes around, find an easy-to-follow nature trail and let your children’s curiosity set the pace.

•Drink water. Those times when you opt for a flavored beverage, avoid commercial drinks high in sugar; mix fruit concentrates or freshly squeezed citrus juice with sparkling water for a healthy energy boost.

•Mark your progress. Make a record of your family fitness activities on a large sheet of poster board you hang on your kitchen wall. Across the top, list your favorite family activities, such as walking, skating, skiing, jogging and swimming.

Each time you enjoy an outdoor adventure, write the date and any memorable anecdotes under the appropriate column. At the end of a month or two, you’ll have a visual record of your activities as a reminder that family fitness is fun.

Donna Erickson is the author of several books about family activities and host of a public television series. See more at

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