Summer maybe coming to an end, but the school season has just begun. With the last bit of watermelon available in the grocery store, now families can make a perfect after-school / post-sport snack that actually helps kids (and teens/adults) recover from exercise.
Childhood obesity is still a problem across the USA. According to the CDC, 17% of American kids aged 2-19 are obese. In the Pacific Northwest, kids are more active and thus you do not see high bouts of obesity until you head to the rural areas.
In the Midwest, childhood obesity is still an "epidemic." A major role in getting kids healthy is to educate and gradually add in healthy food before cold-cutting it. I believe in the "add and then replace" method.
Kids naturally crave sugar, but hopefully we can teach kids to eat right. Learning from the parents is essential. I know it works because I've seen how the Germans and French teach kids how to eat healthy from a young age. And trust me, some of these kids are eating "disgusting" food like tar tar and liver.
Whole foods are a part of these cultures, but they also have high standards for healthy eating. Treats are treats and not a part of the daily meal. The entire culture and thought process around food differs in the US compared to most parts of the world.
This video above is well worth the watch to discover how watermelon helps with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). When exercise is "felt" as painful, most people lose the desire to exercise and move. Kids who are sedentary will have a similar experience.
One goal is to connect the two habits of healthy eating and moving on a deeper level. As the video states, watermelon helps muscle soreness and exercise helps with the digestion and absorption of the good nutrients that we consume. It's a win-win situation.
I am a believer of whole foods, and this article that I wrote for the American Council on Exercise, "5 Whole Foods to Replace Ergogenic Aids," further explains how we can use whole foods to enhance our athletic pursuits.
Why use products like Gatorade and salt-pills when nature provides us all the nutrients we need?
The bright pink flowers of the summer inspired me to encourage kids and families to eat whole foods. As you can see, if nature can match the color of its flowers with fruit, you know it must be good food.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Any toppings that you'd like to use
Slice the watermelon at least by 2 inches. Now, the Ayurvedic method from my yoga studies in India says "Melons. Eat it alone. Or leave it alone." In the west, we tend to combine alot of foods that the East says "no."
You can top with anything such as grapes, coconut shreds or mango puree for "cheese" like I have below.
What is your trick to getting kids to eat whole foods? I'll be writing a separate blog post on how to get kids to eat better, but for now, happy pizza-eating!
If you have any questions, please comment below. I am more than happy to share my expertise!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com