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The American Dietetic Association Foundation conducted the 2010 Family Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey nationwide to 1,193 pairs of children (ages 8 to 17 years) and their parents.
The survey revealed an increase since 2003 of children being physically active with their parents three or more days a week. This is very good in reducing the rate of child and adult obesity rates.
However the study indicated that still most of the activities families do together are sedentary activities â€” watching TV or movies or playing video games.
One agenda from all health experts is that physical activity is good for everyone. For children, the Academy of Pediatrics suggest 60 minutes of activity a day helps children grow strong, stay well and keep a healthy weight. There is even more evidence that suggests that moderate activity also helps childrenâ€™s critical thinking skills, grade point averages and standardized test scores.
While physical activity is good for children it also provides benefits to adults. Physical activity provides adults with a method to reduce excess weight but also an outlet to reduce stress.
It is suggested that adults for weight management get in 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity in most days. For those wanting to lose weight, experts suggest 60 minutes most days and to maintain weight loss 90 minutes may be needed.
Physical activity does not have to be gym related it can become a new method for families to enjoy time together. For example take a walk after dinner on selected days of the week or schedule a weekly afternoon trip to the park.
Make physical activity fun by biking, skating, playing catch, shooting hoops or playing kick ball as a family.
Even reward systems can be targeted toward activity by having a day of miniature golf, visiting a water park or going hiking.
Make 2011 the year of the active family by integrating physical activity as a part of the familiesâ€™ schedule.
Here are recipes for an after-activity fun day:
Â¼ cup frozen apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup crushed ice
Combine apple juice concentrate, lemon juice and ice in a blender and blend until slushy.
Nutrient Analysis per Serving: Calories 124; Total Fat 0g; Saturated Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 25mg; Total Carbohydrates 31g; Dietary Fiber 0g; Protein 0g; Potassium 355mg
4 navel oranges
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Â¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
With a sharp knife, remove rind and white pith from oranges. Cut each into 5 to 6 slices and arrange on a large platter. Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Spoon mixture over the orange slices.
Nutrient Analysis per Serving: Calories 86; Total Fat 0g; Saturated Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 2 mg; Total Carbohydrates 22g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Protein 0g Potassium 258 mg
Recipe of the Week
By Pamela Redwine
One Pan Pork Fu Yung
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
Â½ teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
2 teaspoons canola oil
Â½ pound boneless pork tenderloin, fat trimmed and pork minced
5 green onions, thinly sliced and divided
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
Â¼ teaspoon white pepper
Â¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup canned bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
2 egg whites
1.Â Â Â Â Â Combine cornstarch, broth and Â¼ teaspoon sesame oil in small pan. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce thickens. Set aside.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Heat canola oil in 12 â€“inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; stir-fry about 4 minutes or until no longer pink.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Reserve 2 tablespoons green onions. Add remaining Â¼ teaspoon sesame oil, green onions, mushrooms, pepper and salt, if desired, to skillet. Cook and stir about 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add bean sprouts; stir-fry about 1 minute. With spatula, flatten mixture in skillet.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Combine eggs and egg whites in medium bowl; pour over pork mixture in skillet. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook about 3 minutes or until egg whites are set.
5.Â Â Â Â Â Cut into 4 wedges to serve. Top each wedge with Â¼ cup reserved sauce and 1-1/2 teaspoons green onions.
Makes 4 servings
Nutrients per serving: 1 wedge with Â¼ cup sauce
Cholesterol 149 mg
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat
Recipe Source: Taste of homeâ€™s Diabetic Cookbook 2005
Pamela Redwine is the Nutrition and Food Safety Area Agent for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. This column is provided by the Oktibbeha County Extension Service. For more information call 323-5916.