Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Grandparents column: Help kids stay active in winter

10:38 AM, Jan. 16, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

A sunny day in midwinter is a gift. Ten-minute sunshine walks with young children help their bodies absorb vitamin D, get a little exercise, and reduce stress. Put on sunglasses to protect eyes and go to the mailbox, walk down the driveway, sidewalk, or road. If it is too cold and cloudy there are at least some easy indoor active games to put everyone in better moods without damaging the house.

Vitamin D

It is a hassle bundling young children for a short time outside when it is sunny and not too cold or windy. Is this worth the trouble? Yes, according to scientists. It is especially important during cloudy months.

Recent research suggests vitamin D helps bone health and may protect against colds and fight depression. Most people do get enough D unless we don't spend enough time in the sun or our bodies have trouble absorbing the vitamin. Some people think they get vitamin D through sunny windows. Not true.

Here are some other suggested ways for young children (and caregivers) to get Vitamin D. An eight-ounce glass of fortified cow's milk contains at least 100 IUs (international units). Ice cream and cheese have very little. A six-ounce serving of yogurt contains 80 IUs. Some soymilks and orange juices are also fortified. Check the labels. Egg yolks (about 40 IUs), low-calorie multigrain Cheerios, salmon and mushrooms exposed to UV rays also have vitamin D. How much vitamin D do we need? People ages 1to 70 need 600 IUs daily, according to physicians. Check with your doctor.

Indoor winter activities

Keeping children active indoors is another challenge for caregivers. Take out some blown- up balloons or small beach balls, clear the breakables and have some fun.

Gather small plastic spoons, sit on the floor with children, and bat a balloon back and forth. Teach them never to bite or place their mouths on the balloons.

Now think through a list of sports: hockey, bowling, volleyball, soccer, kickball, baseball, golf, and basketball. Each of these can be played inside with suggested balls and household items like the inner core of paper towel rolls, a storage bin, and a few empty cans. For more ideas see www.grandparentsteachtoo.org.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
573 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
854 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1012 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1270 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports