I grew up in a small southern town and learned that food is only made better by adding more fat and salt to the mix. Eating my Aunt Faye’s fried chicken was all the proof I needed to know that good food means fattening food.
Fortunately, I also spent every day of my summer vacations as a child at the Boys and Girl’s Club of Wilmington, NC, and quickly learned this was not necessarily the case.
Yes, my Aunt Faye’s fried chicken still calls my name, but I also know how to read a label, how to shop mostly in the vegetable and meats isles in order to avoid processed foods and to move a little each day.
I learned these lessons as a 6-year-old and still today I find myself leaning on them in order to live a fit and healthy life.
Many parents in Annapolis are still on the search for ways to help their children stay busy this summer. Most of these parents are also looking for ways to keep their children fit and to lead them on a path of health that will take them through the rest of their lives.
Jon Brianas of Turning Point Sports suggests a camp that focuses on health and fitness.
“Our Fit Kids Team Summer Camp is designed to introduce kids to a variety of fitness disciplines and nutrition topics to reinforce active, healthy habits to carry them through their lifetime,” he said.
This camp struck home for me because it focuses on several of the issues I see adults facing every day. While it is activity based, nutritionist Elaine Strauss, RN, MS, CCN of Simple Uncomplicated Nutrition, will be on hand each day to give a nutrition tip of the day.
And because Brianas and his partner are both Naval Academy graduates there will be a strong focus on team and leadership concepts.
Another camp that struck home for me is offered by Whole Foods in the Annapolis Towne Centre in Parole. Chefs in the Kitchen is a weeklong camp that is held each day in the teaching kitchen at Whole Foods. Kids from the ages of 6 to 15 are taught how to cook good healthy food.
From basketball, soccer and lacrosse camps, to sailing, kayaking and racquet sports, there are a number of camps and programs that teach our kids good healthy habits.
David Wendkos, swim coach at Indian Landing Boat Club said many of the same lessons can be learned in the pool.
“Using summer league swimming as a low pressure way to keep kids active, teach them skills that will benefit them throughout their lives, and help them to enjoy being physically fit, without the pressure of ‘You have to win,’” he said.
Each day I meet adults who are trying to get back into shape. But once in a while I meet one who has been fit their whole life. These people are the ones who really understand the benefits of living a healthy life.
Because they were taught as children the importance of eating right and exercising, they built habits they were able to carry through life. By enrolling our children in summer programs that focus more on fitness we are setting them on this same path.