imagesAs a Weight loss camp, we promote nutrition. One of the most important ways to teach our campers about nutrition is through cooking classes.   This is something we can all do at home.  I have four children, three boys and a girl.  I started planning meals with my children when my youngest was seven years old.   I had each of them take part in planning dinners for the family.  I gave them some simple guidelines; make sure to include a vegetable; try to choose something that we never ate before; think about making healthy choices and watch the cost. I was not going to be making lobster daily!

Each of them took this as a challenge.  They got on the internet and did their research.  They proceeded to print out a menu and figured out calorie count.  Then, they had to create a shopping list for me.  They had to first make sure that the item was not already something I had in the house.  Once I came home with all of the groceries, I would create a bag with each of their food items and label it with their names before placing it into the refrigerator.

Let the fun begin! Each of them chose their day to cook.  They prepared the meal, with assistance of course, and were in charge of portioning out the meal onto each person’s plate.  The rest of the family had their own job of cleaning up after the meal while the chef was allowed to relax.    After clean up, we would sit down and would critique the meal. We would talk about our likes and dislikes and determine if we should save the recipe.  We also discussed the health benefits of the meal and the amount of calories we each just consumed. Some of us were maintaining our weight and others wanted to lose some weight, so this was an important part of our discussion.

I only have two children remaining at home, my youngest is now thirteen. We still do the menu planning but we went from doing it weekly to doing it monthly.  We all learned valuable lessons from having fun together in the kitchen.   All of them are active in sports and by having them plan their meals it helped to teach them the importance of fuel for your body and how to maintain a healthy weight.  The two young men that have moved out know how to cook for themselves, and they make the right choices when planning their meals, I hope.

Take the challenge and do this with your family. Let me know how it works out.  As well experiment and come up with your own recipes, we did and that is what helps to make it fun. Stay active, even if you and your children are not big into sports, take a walk after dinner or play a Xbox Kinect game that requires you to be active.

Can’t wait to hear how you all did.

At Camp Shane Weight Loss Camp we teach children how to make great tasting meals that are high in nutrition and low in calories.  Our campers take advantage of our camp kitchen and are guided by our nutritional staff.  Weight loss camps are a terrific way to set your kids on the right track for their future.