Eat Healthy Food, Enjoy Family Time During March Madness
With five teams from North Carolina in the NCAA tournament, basketball fever is running high in my family. My sons are avidly filling out their brackets and anxiously awaiting the next game.
Does March Madness mean you need to throw healthy eating out the window and allow kids to reach for junk food? Actually, March Madness is a good time to talk to kids about making healthy choices. Think of it this way: If you manage to exercise when you're busy, you're going to stick with your program all year. And if you can steer your kids to the right foods during this season of eating indulgence, you can do it anytime.
Elisabetta Politi, nutrition director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, advises sports fans to pay attention to what they eat when they are following the big games. "If you eat the way athletes do - diets that balance foods low in fats, lean proteins and some carbohydrates - you're more likely to make it through the party unscathed," Politi says, in Carolina Parent's article,Help Your Kids Eat Like Champs.
So what other benefits can you reap from March Madness? It's prime family time. Seize these moments as you follow your favorite teams to celebrate wins or commiserate losses as a family. Following favorite players creates opportunities to discuss character with their kids. With help from mom or dad, even young fans can absorb the life lessons that come with sports: You can't always win. Keep going in the face of adversity. Be a good sport and team player. It matters.
Haven't filled out your bracket yet? Click here for a printable 2012 NCAA tournament bracket!