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Fit Kids Playground Blog
16 Jan 2015

Bolt Family Carnival in Tampa Bay Support Lightning Foundation

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Fit Kids Playground has always been very thankful for the support of the Tampa Bay Lightning and tier community partnership for supporting the Fit Kids Playground event over the course of the last 5 years! Now it’s our turn to support them!

Support the Tampa Bay Lighting and make a difference in our community by coming out to the Lightning Foundation and the fist annual Bolts Family Carnival at Amalie Arena on Sunday, January 18, from 1pm-5pm! Sounds like the perfect Sunday Funday activity in Tampa Bay!

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You’re entire family will be treated to a good ol’ fashioned day of fun under the big top (Amalie Arena). All your favorite Lightning players and personalities will be on hand for autographs and more. Fun carnival style food will be available for purchase (all proceed go towards the Lightning Foundation) and popcorn is on the house!

With carnival style games and awesome photo ops (with the Stanley Cup, of course) you’ll be excited to be a part of the action all while supporting a great cause, the Lightning Foundation. They works with over 250 local non-profits to distribute funds and services. So come out and get excited about hockey season being in full swing! Can’t wait to see you there!

To purchase tickets in advance (prices vary based on the length of time you’d like to attend) click here for purchasing and additional details.

Follow us on Twitter the day of the event at @TampMama using #BoltsFamilyCarnival and as always, @TBLightning.

14 Jan 2015

No Recess? NO WAY!

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Are you joking? Seriously, have any of the education leaders from the Orange County School District in Florida ever actually been in a classroom? Or spent time with 20 5 and 6-year-olds? Or 20 10-year-olds for that matter? It really doesn’t matter what age (I need a little break from work too and I’m 35!) How is this even a possible option!?

The latest news out of Florida is that the teachers need more time to cover state mandated curriculum and just need more time (who doesn’t). But the higher ups aren’t seeing any other way than to eliminate recess for elementary school kids in order to allocate more time to “book work.”

Absurd. Absolutely, positively absurd. Kids NEED playtime. It is vital for their development, socially, emotionally and physically. How are kids supposed to recharge?! I couldn’t imagine having to tell my kids that they would have no recess time at school. I truly think it’s cruel and unusual punishment that no child deserves.

As the founder of Fit Kids Playground, I founded this project because I believe in unstructured free time and free play to not only be a way for kids to get healthy but to just have fun being a kid. There are so many pressures and stresses in our world today that our children are subjected to, that sometimes, they just need to be a kid. Play with friends. Laugh. Smile. Run free without anyone telling them what to do. It’s a break from rules, structure and routine. It might not come often, but it’s a necessary part of childhood that is critical for the well-being of all children.

To the parents of Orange County School kids, I stand with you and the fight to restore recess and free play for kids. If my kids were in that situation, I would be making more noise than firecrackers on the Fourth of July. This is not right. It’s just not right. And when something is not right, you fix it. And you make it right.

If only kids could have their say about having recess taken away. What would they say? Have you asked?

Sign their petition today and let’s give the kids back what is rightfully theirs: their childhood.

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This is MY Kindergardener, Shelby. She’s happiest playing with friends and loves to learn and loves school. Don’t take that away from any child. I want her to love school. Not despise me for sending her there.

24 Nov 2014

Fit Kids Approved: The Bentgo Kids Lunch Box Review

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My kids go to waste free school and I have packed their lunches everyday, with occasional hot lunch every once in a while. I don’t mind packing and they don’t seem to want the other option so everyone is happy!
I have have become a lunch packing professional as now we are up to three lunches each day. I’m always on the look out for new lunch boxes or containers and new ideas for items to pack! I had the opportunity to test drive the Bentgo Kids Lunch Box this past week and my first reaction was, “Genius!” and my daughters, “I LOVE IT!”

Here are a few reasons why I LOVE this Bentgo Kids Lunch Box (and you will too!)

1. Two Pieces! That means no separate lids, different containers or rogue containers in the cabinet waiting to be used because of a missing piece. Dishwasher safe and the perfect size for a lunch.

2. Perfect Size. It’s the perfect size to fit into a lunch box (fits perfect into the LandsEnd EZ Wipe Lunch Box) to additionally add with it a milk, GoGo squeeZ and Pirates Booty snack. The meal fit perfectly inside and the whole lunch fit perfectly in the box.

3. Easy To Open. We have test drive a few other one and two piece lunch boxes, but the Bentgo Kids Lunch Box was the easiest to open for my five year old. She is sold on this being HER everyday lunch box.

4. Ideas! When purchasing the Bentgo Kids, you also get access to a free e-book that has amazing ideas for lunch! While it might be hard for me to be a lunch box ninja, I love simple ideas as to other items I could add into their lunches to not make them “so boring” day after day. Great idea to include a free e-book.

Great product. Made well in super cute colors: purple, blue and green. Pre-order sale is going on now for Bentgo Kids starting at $27.99. A very reasonable price for the product you get. We love waste free lunch products and we love making sure our kids are getting a good start to eating healthy on the go.

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03 Nov 2014

Fit Kids Food Revolution- November Challenges

No Comments Childhood Obesity, Fit Kids Food Revolution, Healthy Eating, Partners, Push Away The Screen, Tampa Bay

JamieOliver
As the Food Revolution Ambassadors for Tampa Bay and for Fit Kids everywhere, we will be trying to engage more with you as a community to bring you more ways to get your fit kids involved in eating healthy. Again, remember the Fit Kids motto is “Real Kids. Real Change. Really Simple.” The official Food Revolution blog always has a monthly challenge that is issued to it’s ambassadors and in turn we would love you connect with us and help inspire others too! So join in! Play along! Trying something new is always fun!

As we head into November, they’ve got a new set of challenges for us! Bring on November!

November’s Monthly Challenges

1. Slow Cooking! We live in a fast food world, but this month we’re asking you to slow things down, try out and share your slow cooked food recipes with us. Challenge submitted by ambassador Christina Erickson

2. N is for November, and nectarines, and nutmeg… we want to see your recipes for dishes beginning with the letter N or using ingredients with the letter N. Challenge submitted by ambassador Jackie Rebideau

3. Share your holiday traditions. Holiday season is almost upon and we want to know what your holiday traditions are and what food makes it to the table for your family gatherings. Send us your photos of traditional recipes, foods and the table set for a holiday feast!

Be on the look out via our social channels for prizes to help share your challenges with our audience! We can’t wait to see what’s in store!

What are Monthly Challenges?

Every month, there will be different challenges that inspire Food Revolutionaries to engage with their communities. They are designed to make deeper connections with the thought leaders in the real food industry and connect with family and friends through fresh food.

This is how we work with Food Revolution and how we engage the Tampa Bay community: At the beginning of every month, the challenges will be announced on the official Food Revolution Blog. The idea is to complete as many challenges as you can. As you complete the challenges, let us know how they went. We want to hear your stories, see your pictures and be able to show your successes through our various social media platforms. So get out there, have fun and make sure you share your story with us here in Tampa too – we could be highlighting what you’ve been doing to the world!

Stay connected with us on Twitter at @FoodRevTampa on on Facebook too!

Find out more about our Fit Kids Food Revolution in Tampa Bay and how you can get involved with us! We are always looking for ways to reach new people in the community!

{First published on FoodRevolution.com}

05 Aug 2014

New Sport on the Block for Kids: Youth Triathlons

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Attention Moms and Dads (as well as their Fit Kids!) There is a new sport on the block for kids these days. Enter the youth triathlon. Have you heard or seen then in your area? With more and more popping up each year, tied to larger adult events, we think that this is a great new sport for kids to learn and most importantly, to have fun participating.

Resister to today for the upcoming Downtown Du Youth Dash on August 23, taking place in Downtown Tampa!

Youth triathlons are exactly what they sound like. A mini triathlon, shorter distances, determined by age, that combine three events, typically swimming, biking and long-running. Kids can compete to earn points part as part of a series in more competitive events such as the Iron Kids Youth Triathlons or just come out to have fun and participate with other fit kids who want to do the same. To be very honest, I feel the distances set are no more than what a typical child would run, bike or swim on any afternoon. The distances are not pushing extreme limits.

My son Jake started participating in these events at the age of 5. Our local YMCA had begun a series of events at various YMCA locations and also offered “training” to teach him the transitions as well as swimming, biking and running practice.

I learned a lot about the sport and also learned that many out there have not been introduced to the world of triathlons or duathlons. No reason to panic. Here are 5 things parents should know about youth triathlons.

1. Training. Training is important, but should be fun. Being that I had used to compete at a novice level, I was able to understand that there are a few things that need to be taught to kids before participating. Just like with any sport you have to train. It doesn’t have to be intense training, but you wouldn’t play any sport unless you practiced. We keep “training” fun and call it getting ready. We swim somedays. We bike others. We run others. I think the common misconception if these events is that parents are perceived to be pushing kids into too tough of a sport. This is an endurance sport. And a little bit each day, just like most anything, will help you to achieve your goals, whatever they might be. Local youth sport facilities might have clubs for kids and I have even seen teams. This is the area where I feel there could be more opportunities to teach kids about how to participate. But nonetheless, it’s swimming, biking and running… Just get the kids outside and start playing. (If you are interested in TRUE training tips visit the official USA Triathlon page for professional advice. http://m.usatriathlon.org/audience/athlete-resources/kid-zone/tips.aspx

2. Competitive vs. Fun There is no need to compete. There are some events I which you will see kids competing at a high level. They spend thousands of dollars on bikes, entry fees, training and shoes among other things. There is nothing wrong with that. Just like other sports, there are products, coaches and training that can help kids who are interested in taking this sport to a higher level, but that should not exclude the kids that are participating to teach themselves that THEY have the power to complete this event because of the practicing they did. Kids should be participating in these events for their own reasons. And in my opinion, “because they are having fun” should be number one.

3. These are life-long sports. The intent to have more children participate in any youth event is to inspire fit kids to grow up and be fit people. If you create memories and special moments together doing healthy activities together, then hopefully they will take these through life and the memories will inspire them to continue to train and participate just for fun. I am not a professional athlete. I played sports and loved every minute of playing. Some of us have the ability to play professional. Some of us just want to have fun and live a healthy life. But staring young and inspiring healthy habits for life is important.

4. Bonding time. I have personally enjoyed every minute of “training” with my kids. We use the word “training” because it sounds grown-up and kids get excited to do most things “grown-ups” do. We go out for early runs together. We bike in the afternoon together. We swim together at the local pool.

5. Finish lines are AWESOME! The sense of accomplishment is inspiring! I do not have a prouder feeling than when my kids cross that finish line. I love finish lines. Young or old, everyone leaves with pride, smiles, their head held high and each medal is placed around their necks to say, “I did this. I trained. Hard work pays off.” I hope that this feeling inspires them to want to continue to train and stay healthy.

Being a happy, healthy and fit kid is what every parent wants. Smiles from ear to ear and confidence that they can do this. With our help, they can. With our encouragement that can mentally say to themselves,”I know I can. I know I can.” And when they finish, you’ll see the smile. And chances are, if you see the smile, they will ask you to do another triathlon.

To find local triathlons in your area, visit FitKidsPlayground.com/YouthTriathlons

This post is sponsored by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. They are the hosts of the Tampa Bay Downtown Du Dash and the Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon. Registration is currently open. Register here today!

Update from the Dowtown Du Dash as of August 6:

We hope this note finds you doing well! We have already told you about the Cott Beverage Downtown Du Dash event occurring on August 23, 2014, but we wanted to inform you about a course change, as well as a promo code deadline!

The kids race will now be spilt into two age groups and course lengths:

JV- Ages 6-10: Half-Mile Run & 1.5 Mile Bike
Varsity- Ages 11-14: 1 Mile Run & 3 Mile Bike

In addition, please note that the promo code will end Friday, August 15th! Remember to enter TBKTCOTT at the end of registration to receive $5 off!

To learn more about the event and/or to register, please visit: www.DowntownDuDash.com. Registration for the 2015 Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon will be available later on this year.

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