SOURCE: My Gym Enterprises

September 02, 2010 10:39 ET

My Gym Promotes Healthy Eating to Fuel Children's Fitness

Children's Fitness Center Highlights the CDC's "National Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters Month"

SHERMAN OAKS, CA--(Marketwire - September 2, 2010) -  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is kicking off their new healthy eating campaign by declaring September to be "National Fruits and Veggies -- More Matters" month. "This new health initiative from the CDC is great news for children and adults," says Matt Hendison, Chief Marketing Officer of My Gym Children's Fitness Center. "Children need the right kinds of food to fuel their days, and this new program offers lots of tips and activities to encourage children to think of fruits and vegetables as an enjoyable part of their daily diet."

"My Gym is dedicated to helping children develop healthy lifestyle habits, and that includes both exercise and diet," adds Hendison. "Children and adolescents should be involved in about 60 minutes of physical activity every day, incorporating exercise that gets their heart pumping, develops muscles and builds bones. That kind of energy requires the right kind of food."

Children are more apt to eat foods that they have picked out or helped to prepare, says Hendison. Here are the "Top 10 Ways to Get Kids Involved in Healthy Cooking & Shopping" from the CDC:

Tip #1: Mean Green Cleaning Machine. Have your children wash the fruits and vegetables that you are preparing for cooking or eating. 
Tip #2: Pick A Peck!  When shopping, ask your children to select a new fruit or vegetable to try... or several! 
Tip #3: Make It Snappy! Let your children snap the green beans and snap peas, or break the flowerets from the broccoli or cauliflower. 
Tip #4: I Spy. Play "I Spy" in the produce section when grocery shopping with your children. They'll notice vegetables and fruits they've never paid any attention to before.
Tip #5: Tear It Up! Have your children tear up the lettuce for salads and sandwiches.   
Tip #6: Measure Up! Let your children measure the frozen vegetables before cooking them. 
Tip #7: Peel & Slice. Have older children peel and slice carrots, cucumbers, potatoes... the list goes on! 
Tip #8: Stir & Spice. Make applesauce from fresh apples. Let your children help add and stir the cinnamon into the warm applesauce. 
Tip #9: A Sprinkle A Day... Ask your children to sprinkle fresh or dried herbs or other seasonings onto vegetables. 
Tip #10: Monster Mash! Pull out the old-fashioned potato masher and let your children at it! 

The CDC's new program also takes a more individualized approach to planning a healthy diet by recognizing that the amount of fruits and vegetables your family needs daily depends on caloric needs, which are determined by age, gender and activity level.  For example, active boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 8 need about a cup and a half of fruit and about two and a half cups of vegetables daily. But an active teenage boy, ages 14-18, needs two and a half cups of fruit and four cups of vegetables each day while an active girl of the same age needs about two cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables.  Handy calculators on the site help families "right size" their meals to maximize their food budgets.

"Exercise and diet go hand-in-hand when you're raising a healthy child," emphasizes Hendison. "When children eat a healthy diet, they sleep better and learn more effectively. They also have the energy to enjoy the exercise they need. The exercise helps stimulate their appetite, and one healthy habit leads to another."

My Gym Children's Fitness Centers combine innovative physical early learning/pre-gymnastic glasses with state-of-the-art facilities to empower children by helping them develop the skills, confidence and positive self-image needed to become healthy young adults.

For more information, please visit www.mygym.com.

About MY GYM Enterprises
Established in 1983, MY GYM is the #1-ranking fitness center destination for children with 200 locations worldwide, including such international locations as Hong Kong, France and Brazil among others. More than 30 additional locations are planned to open worldwide in next 12 months. For more than two decades, MY GYM has combined innovative, early physical education/pre-gymnastics classes with state-of-the-art facilities to empower children -- ages 6 weeks to 13 years -- by helping them acquire the skills, confidence and positive self-image needed to become healthy young adults. My Gym's award winning, structured, noncompetitive and age-appropriate classes enhance children's overall physical development through games, music, exercise, sports, gymnastics, puppets, special rides and fun! The children gain strength, balance, coordination, fine and gross motor proficiency, agility, flexibility and social skills. Mymo's Adventures earned the 2006 iParenting Award for Outstanding Children's DVD. The My Gym television show, My Gym At Home, airs on BabyFirstTV, a 24/7 commercial-free channel focusing on children's development. My Gym is located on the Web at www.mygym.com. MY GYM is also the home of The Activators, an entertainment troupe comprised of actual MY GYM teachers designed to encourage children with messages of fun and fitness. The Activators is located on the Web at www.theactivators.net.