Our Junior Girl Scouts are going to "Get Moving" on their energy journey this winter. As a leader I admit it's sometimes been tough transitioning the journey leader guides into something manageable, enjoyable and not like school.
This week, we formally kicked it off with a talk on "people" energy and energy balance - calories in and calories out.
It's About Balance
We found a great starting point on Energy Balance 101 lesson plans from Discovery Education. The girls learned about calories and energy, then discussed how to figure out how much exercise it would take to balance out extra treats.
Because I'm very sensitive about weight issues, we also talked about ways our body uses energy without formally "exercising" - everything from watching TV (breathing, heart beating, etc.) to walking between classes to even sleeping, noting that some actions use more energy than others.
The girls learned about label reading too, and calculated how much energy they were going to take in with their Thanksgiving-themed snack (Pumpkin Pie in a Cup). I'll note that the recipe in the lesson plan did not go over well, as it seems it wasn't sweetened enough for the girls' tastes. I'd adapt it this way:
Pumpkin Pie in a Cup
Mix in a cup:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (note: a can serves about 3 girls)
2 tablespoons marshmallow creme (or more, to taste)
2 tablespoons whipped topping or whipped cream
cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice
Serve with graham crackers.
Balancing Out Our Snacks
After the girls snacked, we "balanced" the energy and playfully learned about stress management by playing our family's Yoga 4 Kids Board Game. Lots of giggles happened while the girls tried to learn yoga poses, and several girls made comments at the end of the meeting about how relaxed they were,
We also launched a steps contest. Each girl got an inexpensive pedometer and were asked to track their steps daily until the next meeting. The winner would get a prize. I have to chuckle that they all started working on their steps immediately, and one mom shared on Facebook her daughter was making laps around the house!
Badge match-up: Get Moving! Energy Journey, Staying Healthy steps 1, 2, 3, Simple Meals step 5.
How do you teach your kids about fitness, nutrition and energy? Share your ideas or questions below!