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Parents’ Night Involves the Whole Family in Fitness

Chef Chelsea's Cooking Demo

Chef Chelsea smiles as she jokes with the parents about healthy eating.

Every Thursday evening, Forever-Fit holds a Parents’ Night with a cooking demonstration by our camp chef, Chelsea Butler, and a group discussion led by Dr. John Guare, faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’s psychology department. The night revolves around the two things parents can do to aide in the fitness of their child: eating and living habits.

“You have to work with the parents,” Dr. Guare says. “They buy the food; prepare the food; model their eating habits and activity habits. You have to shake the parents’ behavior to shake the kids’ behavior.”

First, Chef Chelsea took the parents step-by-step through making beef and broccoli stir-fry with low-sodium soy sauce and ginger root for added fresh flavor. The dish was served over brown rice for the kids and parents to keep up with a healthier option, but unsurprisingly, the flavorful stir-fry was more of a hit on its own.

“Asian cooking in general uses a little bit of salty and a little bit of sweet,” Chef Chelsea said during her demo. “It gives you a full flavor.”

Parents Concerns

A parent discusses her concerns with Dr. Guare.

As the parents sampled the healthy fare of the evening, Dr. Guare led the group in a discussion about keeping a fitness routine. As parents voiced their concerns and struggles with this particular aspect, the group developed a family health structure:

1. Consistent meal planning: Planning a healthy meal leads to making a healthy meal.
2. Social support: It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to keep you accountable for your family’s health habits. Get a friend to embarrass you if you forget to take your child to a practice or the YMCA.
3. Goal setting: Seems obvious, but it’s oftentimes overlooked after a while. Keep a steady monitor of progress with journaling.
4. Practice what you preach: Pretty self-explanatory.

Now with parental support and understanding, the road to a healthier lifestyle is becoming a progressively smoother one for the families of Forever-Fit.

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