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From one parent to another

Howdily doodily,

I’m writing this blog not as a Fitness or Health Professional but as a parent. Angie got in touch with me last week asking about her child. What should they eat during the day and around GAA. She tells me they have football coaches telling the kids this and that when they’re not qualified to but let’s not stop there. My children go to a national school and it's just garbage that’s being fed in by the government so it's bad information been given by teachers. So here is an insight into my children’s food and activity diary for the week. My two are Rod (9) and Todd (5) years old.

Before we start though let’s look at an equally important factor when dealing with children, PORTION SIZES!

Little boys and girls have little tummies so they don’t fit as much in as you and I would.

Here is a really easy method for every one of all ages to gauge their portion sizes and you’ll have to practice it with yourself and your child to get it just right.

Breakfast:

1-2 Palm size portions of protein.

1-2 Thumb size portions of fat.

1 Fist size of carbs.

Studies have shown that children of school going age who start their day with a higher Fat and Protein meal responded better to the early morning lessons. Their brains are ready from the first bell compared to those that start their day with sugary cereals and toast who can take up to 3 hours to get focused.

Lunch:

1-2 Palm size portions of protein.

1-2 Thumb size portions of fat.

1-2 Fist size of fruit and/or Veg

Dinner:

1-2 Palm size portions of protein.

1-2 Thumb size portions of fat.

1-2 Fist size of Fruit and/or Veg

 

When we say Palm, Thumb or Fist it’s to be measured off the person eating it. So you can see how your child’s portion of Meat and Veg would be smaller than yours.

 

In our house we like structure (If I’m being completely honest, I like structure) but with food, structure is great. We simply have a set menu that pretty much started early last year and it’s only really dinner that changes with the seasons. The kids know what’s coming so they can eat it or go hungry till their next meal. Trust me, they know better than to test me.

 

Breakfast with 100ml of Orange Juice, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Fish oil

·         Monday, Wednesday and Friday is Eggs cooked in coconut oil and Grilled Bacon.

·         Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is Homemade Granola with Greek Style Yogurt or Non-Homogenised Milk.

·         Sunday is Gluten Free Pancakes.

 

Kids Lunches and we try to keep it somewhat similar at the weekends.

·         Standard would be a bottle of water with Alkalising salts, 1 Piece of fruit and 1 Yogurt.

Options:

·         Rice cake with Almond butter or Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon.

·         Carrot/Cucumber/Celery Sticks with Hummus or Cream Cheese

·         Leftovers from dinner the night before. Heat it in the morning and put in thermo Tubs.

 

Kids come home from school and will eat another piece of fruit or one of the lunch options.

Dinners:

Monday and Thursday is Beef

Tuesday and Friday is Chicken

Wednesday and Saturday is Seafood

Every Sunday is Roast Chicken and Veg

At the moment here are some of the regular dinners we have and some we will make larger portions so we can all eat for lunch the next day. Most is made from scratch and you can contact me for any recipes or have a look though the recipe book you got when you signed up to receive these email. If you need me to send it again just ask.

  • Salmon Darns or Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, Cauliflower and carrots topped with a Thai Green curry sauce.
  • Fish Pie / Chowder
  • Homemade Meatballs with Gluten Free Spaghetti.
  • Steak with Stir Fry veg.
  • Homemade Beef or Turkey burgers on a Gluten Free Bun.
  • Spicy Chicken, Chorizo and Caramelised onion with baby potatoes and asparagus topped with parmesan.
  • Homemade soup and chicken breast.
  • Turkey Mince and Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

You should do out your own chart like this one and stick it on your fridge

Activities:

My children’s schools can be great for a number of things but promoting sport and physical activity is certainly not one of them.

Rod (9) swims competitively and trains 3 or 4 times a week depending on how he feels.

Todd (5) does swimming lessons twice a week but I also take him running 1 -2 times a week as well. We've been doing this since he was three and is now running 2km.

I try to encourage good habits for when they are older and that includes post workout nutrition. So before, during and after swimming my children drink around 700ml of water with Alkalising Salts (Electrolytes) and after they’ll eat chicken and a naked bar (Compressed fruit and nuts).

 

Other habits for my children’s health:

We live on the coast so most days weather permitting we go for a 2km walk on the seafront or we go for a walk in the Zoo (Annual Membership is awesome Value).

Sleep is a major component for everyone’s health not just children.  My two start getting ready for bed about 7pm (Except Monday Rod has swimming 7-8) PJ’s on, Brush the teeth, have a read and both are normally asleep before 8pm and we don’t hear them until 6-7 the next morning.

I myself try to be in bed by 9pm every night with the intentions of being asleep by 930. Most weekdays I’m up at 0510 and I’ll generally have a 45min nap about 1330.

 

As well as no junk food there is no screen time Monday to Thursday so that includes TV, Computers and iPads unless it’s for homework. We only started this last September when Todd started school. Trust me if you want the kids out to play this is how you do it. You have to compromise though this includes if they want to go out and play in the rain.

Depending on what way I’m working we sit in every Friday or Saturday night and watch a film and eat junk food like Jellies, Popcorn or Crisps or Gluten Free Xmas pudding and fresh cream (Great all year round).

Once a month we try go to Milano’s for Gluten free Pizza and another weekend we’d go to the Cinema.

 

That’s about it really. This is our plan and we keep to it as close as possible. These are a lot of combined habits that we developed and we've spent 9 years getting to this point.

 

I hope those of you with children will take something from it. Actually when it comes to the set menu, those that say you don’t have time should really try it out. It can save you a lot of time. You’ll know exactly what you need to buy in the shops and just spend 30mins every evening prepping for the next day.

 

Until Next Week,

Love and Happiness,

John T.

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