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Kids and Exercise – movement in daily life and when temps are over 100

There is a blog called “walk.” aka “too big for stroller” where they post pictures of older children being pushed in baby strollers.  I came across it several months ago, but this weekend in Wal-Mart, I saw something that I think would qualify for the site.

Tween riding in grocery cart

Sorry if this is your kid. I blurred the face of the child and cropped the mom's for privacy and the clothes are pretty generic.

The child has to be at least 9 or 10, right?  It is a bit hard to tell since she is seated while her mom is standing (and doing the pushing), but her torso and thighs seem to be almost as long as her mom’s, and her mom was an average height.

I am overweight, I am not in any way a gym rat, but I do at least walk and push my cart when I am in the grocery store.  As I was navigating through all the non-elderly adults in electric carts, I came across this child who is probably headed there herself.  There are times when riding on an electric cart is helpful, when you break or sprain your leg, when you are late in pregnancy, when you are a senior citizen, etc. But, a healthy child that is over the age of five should be walking, not riding. 

If your kids whines about having to walk then you just have to suck it up and listen to the whining until they finally give up and walk.  You are not doing them a favor in multiple ways by letting them ride.  My six-year-old daughters would like to ride, but they don’t get to, and now they rarely whine about it since they know there is no point.  Check out the age and weight limits for the grocery carts and also the prohibition against letting your kid ride in the basket…the label is right there, under all the chips and pretzels.  It says 6 to 48 months and 15 to 35 pounds max:


Grocery Cart Weight Limit

Yes, I know there are older children with special needs that are unable to walk, but they have special strollers and chairs with safety straps made for these kids that are bigger/older; their parents don’t generally just throw them in a grocery cart.  She had to be healthy enough to climb into the cart herself since she is too big for her mom to have picked her up and put her in it.  This child must be able to walk (despite her lack of shoes…health violation?) so why is her mom pushing her around? 

I also could not help but notice the numbers of Lunchables, frozen dinners, empty carb snacks such as cheddar cheese pretzel sandwiches, and sugary juices and soda in the cart.  Processed food, white flour, and concentrated liquid sugars plus no movement is not a good combination for helping a child be healthy.  She also seems to be clutching some kind of flavored milk, probably Nesquik strawberry-flavor… 360 calories and 60g of sugar in that 16 oz. bottle.  Yes, push your tween in a grocery cart and people look at what kind of food you are feeding her.

Experts say that maintaining a child’s physical health is a combination of both healthy eating and physical activity. (CDC website on childhood obesity)  So, children must do the least and walk as they move around through their daily life, but what about more active exercise and play? 

The temperature today in Oklahoma is predicted to be between 110 and 112 degrees F and it may top the all-time record of 113 F.  We will be at the pool this afternoon, since we have swimming lessons, but otherwise, the kids will not be playing outside. Sundown is at 8:30pm and the temp will be down to between 101 and 104 by then, so I don’t think we can squeeze an evening walk in either. So, what do you do as a parent to encourage healthy movement when the temperature is extreme either in the middle of summer or winter? 

Gyms may be an option for adults, but most have an age minimum of 16 or so, since the equipment is sized for adults.  The girls are too big now at six to play in the mall’s indoor play area, since I don’t want them trampling the toddlers.  And I really don’t want to frequent a fast-food restaurant just to use their indoor play equipment; kind of defeats the purpose of trying to teach them to eat healthy.  When they play inside our house, their games tend to be more sedentary.  Any ideas?

– Stacey


About feedingmytribe

Mom to four 10-year-olds. Trying to find my way through the confusing world of food and nutrition to provide my girls with a healthy start in life.

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