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Healthy Recipes For Kids

Healthy Recipes for KidsAt New Image Camps our philosophy is that in order to loose weight one must exercise AND eat well. Yes, eating well means eating your fruits and vegetables, but it can still be fun and easy to incorporate into a daily routine.

Over the summer Chelsea Settles of MTV published multiple blog posts of delicious recipes that are healthy and aid weight loss initiatives. Here are some of these recipes all in one place.

DIY Healthy Lunchables: Regular Lunchables have a lot of unnecessary and hidden sodium, fat and sugar. So instead of buying one in a cardboard box from the grocery store, have fun making your own!

Three Lunchtime Favorites Recipes: In this post Chelsea shares three lunch foods she loves; turkey sushi, apple jack quesadillas and lunchbox FUN-due. Three packable meals that are healthy and filling.

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt: Save room for dessert (without all the calories), because this recipe is delicious! Give it a try.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe: Who doesn’t want to wake up to these?

Mocktails: Refreshing on a hot, summer day!

We hope you enjoyed this round of Healthy Recipes for Kids from Chelsea!

Do you have a favorite healthy recipe? If so, share it with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Four Things To Look For When Considering A Weight Loss Camp For Kids

It wasn’t too long ago that weight loss camps were known as and often called, “fat camps“. However, this “fat camp” phrase is no longer fitting of today’s camps. There are many overweight and obese children worldwide. If you’re worried about your child’s weight or your doctor has determined your child is obese/overweight, you may want to look into any of weight loss camps for kids. It may be the best thing you do for your child.

When you’re looking for a camp to send your child to, make sure it offers four things.

Offer 1 – It Approaches Weight Loss Healthily  – While it seems like a no-brainer, you want to ensure that the camp you choose doesn’t follow the “old-school” way of thinking. What you want to see from the camp is that they offer your child lots of healthy food choices, none of which will leave your child hungry. Make sure you know what the menu looks like. It should include lots of lean protein, whole grains, non-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Offer 2 – Emotional Support Not Just Food and Exercise Support – The kids weight loss camp should offer emotional support as another healthy approach to help your child in losing weight. Remember being obese/overweight can be hard on your child’s feelings, self-worth and well-being. The counselors should have the foresight to be sensitive and understanding along with encouraging to all overweight/obese children, not just your child.

Offer 3 – Realistic Goals Should Be Set – Make sure any of the weight loss camps for kids you look into are setting realistic goals for the children to abide by. Weight loss should occur during camp but not too the point that the child is completely thin. Should weight loss occur too fast, chances are the weight will come back and your child may end up weighing more than before he/she went to the camp. Don’t forget that too quick of weight loss is harmful to the body.

Offer 4 – It Offers Fun Exercise-Related Activities – Whenever your child goes to camp, they are going to miss you. Make sure that you have a camp that will include exercising activities that are fun for the kids. Remember how bored you are by exercising; it’s no different for your child. If a child is having fun exercising, they’ll want to continue with the program. With everything they’ll learn at the camp, they can bring home some interesting and fun ideas for your family to do.

Here at Camp Pocono Trails, part of New Image Camps, we provide all four. Read more about our philosophy here.

MTV Star Chelsea Settles Returns to Camp Pocono Trails to Connect with Campers & Teens via Social Media

Chelsea Settles, MTV Weight Loss StarChelsea Settles, the formerly overweight small-town girl who became a reality TV celebrity on MTV, is bringing her personal experience and bubbly personality to New Image Camps at Pocono Trails once again this summer – June 22 through August 14.

Chelsea, the star of MTV’s “Chelsea Settles,” has been appointed Camp Pocono Trails’ Social Media Director and has been filming small vignettes about the daily activities and kid success stories, and posting them on the camp’s social media sites. She is living at the weight-loss camp in Reeders, Pennsylvania, and which has 400 campers, ages 7 to 19.

Chelsea has been blogging and tweeting about healthy recipes, motivational quotes, and camper success stories. This method of day-to-day social media gives parents and online users a behind the scenes look at the magic of camp experience.

“When people think of the name Camp Pocono Trails, I want them to think of a friend, proven results, and family,” says Chelsea.  “I want them to know that their thoughts and feelings are not unique, but are shared with hundreds of kids around the country.  I want to encourage prospective campers to take a leap of faith and sign up for future sessions and begin their weight-loss journeys; it will change their lives!”

MTV chronicled Chelsea’s journey from the industrial Western Pennsylvania enclave of Uniontown to Los Angeles, where the 24-year-old pursued a career in fashion. At 325 pounds, she struggled with low self-esteem.

Viewers watched Chelsea transformation from a morbidly obese, self-conscious, 20-something to a slimmer (she lost 90 pounds), confident woman who gained the courage to ask her boss for a promotion.

“I think the viewers identified with my story because it was relatable,” says Chelsea. “I am just the average small-town girl that took a chance, trusted my gut — lost some of my gut in the process — and found the courage to follow my dreams.”

Camp Pocono Trails founder and director Tony Sparber was so thrilled with the inspiration Chelsea brought to his campers last year that he invited her back again. Chelsea has lost over 125 pounds since her journey began and is devoting her life to health and wellness.

Weight Loss Camps Allow Overweight Teens to Fit In

Obesity is never easy, but it is perhaps most difficult for those in their teenage years. Fortunately, obese teens can find respite at weight loss camps. At weight loss camps for teens, overweight teens can feel comfortable around their peers without worrying about their weight. They can have fun and play without the fear of being teased, and they will be able to compete against others of a similar phenotype.

Weight loss camp counselors are well aware of the difficulties experienced by teenagers each day. In addition, they are experienced at understanding the added burden being obese places on a teenager. During the teenage years, much of a person’s self-perception is based on how a person thinks others view him or her. Being part of a peer group is important too, so teenagers often feel depressed if they are rejected by schoolmates.

Obese teenagers are often left out at school. At home too their parents or family members may berate them for a lack of self control. It is common for an obese teen to withdraw. Sometimes an obese teen may seem confident on the outside, other times he might simply try to fade into the background. Even the obese teen who seems to be confident and unaffected by the daily chiding of his peers is usually suffering from this mistreatment. It becomes difficult not to believe it when people tell you over and over that you are fat, ugly, or have no self control.

Most of us remember how stressful the teenage years can be. But for an obese teen, these years can be much more stressful. During junior high and high school, many obese teens experience a tremendous amount of unfair treatment. Many of these experiences still affect a person well into his or her middle age.

At weight loss camp, overweight girls have a chance to take part in many of the activities they have avoided. They can enjoy dressing up or trying out new fashions without the fear of being ridiculed for being fat, because everyone else at camp is overweight too. They can enjoy dances without feeling out of place, and they can enjoy being part of the group instead of feeling like an outsider.

Weight loss camps provide similarly positive experiences for overweight boys. Boys can enjoy making new friends and playing games or sports with others just like them. They don’t have to worry about being picked last for a team because they are among peers of similar builds. In addition, boys can enjoy making friends with girls without the usual fear of rejection.

At weight loss camps for teens, all the teenagers are overweight. They have all had similarly difficult experiences dealing with their weight and living with the reactions of others. For this reason, camp participants have a lot in common, and they enjoy being part of a group of similar individuals. Weight loss camp gives an obese teen the chance to finally feel good about himself and to simply enjoy being a teenager without worrying what other people think.

Choosing a Weight Loss Camp for your Overweight Child

Fat Camp can help your child lose weight this summer!The days of “fat camps” are long gone.  Today’s fitness camps are different from the weight loss camps that we all grew up hearing horror stories about.  They focus on a holistic approach to healthy living and long-term weight loss.  They shouldn’t be thought of as a “quick cure” for your overweight child.  Instead, weight loss camps should be viewed as a starting point for a lifelong commitment to living healthy.

If you’re considering sending your child to a fitness camp this summer, good for you!  Often it is difficult to admit that we, as parents, are in a situation with our children where we need help.  However, choosing to send your child to a fitness camp can be one of the best decisions that you and your child make for their well being.

While you’re surfing the web for the best camp, keep in mind some of the following things:

1.  Make sure the camp promotes a healthy approach to weight loss.  This seems obvious, but make sure you’re not sending your child to an “old school” mentality “fat camp.”  The camp should offer plenty of healthful food choices that won’t leave your child hungry.  Get some samples of the a daily menu and make sure it includes plenty of vegetables and fruit, lean protein, non-fat dairy and whole grains.

2.  Make sure that they incorporate FUN exercise activities.  As adults, we tend to push ourselves in the gym, stay on the treadmill long after we’re bored or force another set of crunches.  Kids, on the other hand, should have fun while they exercise.  The more fun they have exercising, the more likely they will be to stick with it.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll come back home with some ideas for YOU to make YOUR exercise more fun!

3.  Make sure that the camp sets realistic goals for the kids at their camp.  Children lose weight differently than adults.  A lot of their “weight loss” will come in the form of “growing into” a healthy weight.  Sure, some weight can and should be lost during their time at camp, but you don’t want a camp that promises to send back a thin child!  Weight that is lost too quickly typically (almost always) comes back and is NEVER supportive of a healthy system.

4.  Make sure that the camp takes the “healthy approach” beyond the food and exercise to include emotional support.  Being overweight or obese can be very tough on your child’s emotional well-being and you may not even be aware of some of the emotional scars that your child has.  You want to find a weight loss camp where the counselors are encouraging as well as understanding.  You want your child to lose weight, not self-esteem!

Keeping Exercise Fun for Your Child

Adults who struggle with their weight can go to the health club to get into shape. Most adults understand calories must be burned, and a rigorous diet must be followed. However, children have a more difficult time losing weight, and most overweight children will quickly get bored if told to exercise.

Exercise doesn’t seem nearly as exciting as playing video games or watching a movie. If you tell your child to go outside to do something active, there is a good chance he will just sit on the porch; this isn’t much of an improvement. Weight loss camps for kids are effective because they manage to provide children with activities that are enjoyable. At weight loss camp, children get to have fun and play, which allows them to naturally burn calories.

Parents of overweight children should take a cue from weight loss camps and provide children with fun ways to exercise. You might be able to get your child to go on walks with you or even a jog. But for many children this doesn’t seem very fun. However, you can go on a bug hunt or go hiking in search of wildlife; for many children, this does sound like fun.

A great way to burn calories is through swimming. Swimming works the entire body, and it is very effective for weight loss. More importantly, most children love to swim and play in the pool. Planning a weekly visit to the pool may be just the thing your overweight child needs to get into shape.

Chores and duties provide another avenue for exercise. Do you have a dog? Perhaps your kid should be in charge of walking the dog each day. Do you live close enough to school for your child to walk? This provides another opportunity for exercise.

Getting the entire family involved is a great way to get an overweight child in shape. Games provide a fun way to burn calories. Try a game of charades, or if you are energetic enough, play hide-and-go-seek or even tag. Perhaps a family bike ride to the park or maybe a game of frisbee at the beach.

Kids love to have friends over. If your child wants to invite a friend over to watch TV or to play video games, encourage them instead to do something more active. Most kids will find plenty to do at the park. Send them on a bike ride or even a trip to the zoo.

Another great activity that can involve the whole family is camping. A weekend camping trip is a great opportunity for exercise and fun. Have your child help set up the tent and chop and stack fire wood. Enjoy hiking and exploring the surroundings with your children. Family camping trips are fun for all involved, and exercise opportunities are ample. Just make sure to leave the TV and portable video games at home!

Many of the recommended activities require involvement from the whole family. Family involvement helps provide the motivation for exercise just as the kids and instructors at weight loss camps help provide fun and motivation. Additionally, it helps to keep everyone in shape. So turn off the television and enjoy getting into shape with your child!

Is a Weight Loss Camp the Best Choice for Your Child?

Trying to help your overweight or obese child can be frustrating. We all know about the rise in childhood obesity and the health issues involved, which of course makes us worry. The hard part is that we tend to make mistakes when dealing with our child’s eating and exercise habits and cause other issues.

If you try to eliminate snacks or sweets, your child may start sneaking or even stealing food. They may begin to feel badly about themselves and turn to even more food for comfort.

Common mistakes such as denying food in between meals or skipping meals may lead your child to overeat at the next opportunity. Your child’s metabolism will be lower when you do this and their bodies may store more fat. It’s difficult enough to follow an adult weight loss plan, but there are special considerations when it comes to children.

A weight loss camp is able to help your child with qualified, trained professionals. Many children respond better to other adults such as teachers or babysitters. Your child might be more compliant at a weight loss camp. Maybe you can avoid the food battles that you and your child have by allowing caring, trained professionals to assist. The knowledge they gain at a weight loss camp will help them continue their weight loss efforts at home.

Your child will also be with other children that are going through the same troubles at home. It doesn’t matter whether you are heavy or thin, your child may feel isolated in their own home just the same. A thin parent may be viewed as not being able to relate. A heavy parent might be deemed unable to help because in fact, they are heavy. Your child will be able to relate to the other children at the weight loss camp and find the understanding that they may miss at home.

We know that obesity can lead to heart disease, unhealthy joints, diabetes and more health problems. Your child may be facing a tough road ahead when it comes to feeling accepted and good about themselves. Though all these problems are worrisome, you can find the help you and your child need. One of the most important aspects of weight loss is the ability to make the right choices out of desire, not pressure. When your child is empowered to make these better choices, it won’t be such a battle.

Your child will benefit from a weight loss camp and gain the empowerment they need to start down a better road towards good health.

Change the Course with Fitness Camps for Kids

Do you or your spouse exercise regularly? Is it a natural part of your lives? Or, like most of us, is it something you struggle to keep doing? Though the big exercising boom certainly hit our generation, we still don’t find it an easy task to maintain mainly because our parents didn’t exercise. Today’s modern conveniences mean that we get even less activity than our parents on many levels. You can change the course for your children.

Children learn more from what Mom and Dad “do” rather than what they “say.” If they see you exercising every day, then they will be more likely to exercise regularly themselves. Even if you have a hard time picturing your 7-year-old “working out,” you still can’t rely on the bit of outdoor play that they get to provide all of their exercising needs.

When they get older, they naturally slow down a bit and play less rough. This is especially true for girls. Athletically active kids may have an advantage, but even kids who have a soccer practice or two and a game each week aren’t really getting the right type of exercise.

The type of exercise they need on a daily basis has to be something that is naturally built into their routines. This will ensure that they are able to keep up with their exercise requirements long after they are done playing sports or merely playing as children. A fitness camp for kids this summer can help you get the kids in shape and perhaps the whole family when they bring home their new exercises.

In the meantime, you can begin helping your child exercise by finding exercise activities that they enjoy, yet offer a routine type activity. A regular game of tag at the park might be a good way to start, but continue to push towards more routine activities such as running. You could do this by sneaking in the running. Perhaps, “IT” needs to run a lap around the field before chasing the other players. Try to purchase a bit of home gym equipment as you can ( or garage sales are a good start) and teach yourself and the kids how to properly use this equipment. Make sure you keep safety in mind. For younger kids, a trampoline that has walls around is a great purchase or even a jump rope for a less expensive route.

Don’t forget about checking out fitness camps, though. They are a lot of fun for kids, and trained professionals may be able to convince your kids that exercise is  an important part of their daily lives!

The Truth behind Fat Camp

If you have heard fat camp horror stories, you probably heard that the staff is mean and that it’s a miserable place to be. From a kid’s mindset, this may be true.  Consider a child’s point of view:

  •  They have to eat foods they don’t like.
  • They are forced to sweat and exercise.
  • They are kept from having candy and snacks.
  • They are limited or even restricted from video games, television, and other “inactivities.”

To a child, this is like punishment or torture. But now let’s look at what the staff is really doing.

  • They are trying to teach children about healthy food choices.
  • They are making them exercise to burn off excess fat.
  • They are limiting the sugar and carb-filled snacks that add to the fat problem.
  • They are teaching kids to be active as entertainment, to burn off calories and keep their weight in check.

In a child’s mind, it is not easy to see that the staff is really trying to help.

When a child goes to a fat camp, they should understand that the camp is a resource for the child to use to create a healthier lifestyle.  They should understand that the members of the staff specialize in childhood obesity and are trying to make a difference in your child’s life.   At camp, your child will be placed on a healthy diet and exercise routine.  Even though it may seem like the army at times, some camps use this kind of tactic as a way of getting through to reluctant children that need a little push in the right direction.

Another advantage of a fat camp is the setting. There are other children there with the same problem that they can make friends with and confide in.  Being surrounded by a group of peers with the same goals and objectives allows peer pressure to work in a positive manner, encouraging each individual to “do what everyone else is” and invest the time and energy into the program.

It is important as a parent to understand what will be happening at the camp and to get involved with your child’s health.  Unfortunately, some children that go to fat camp and lose weight end up gaining all that weight back within weeks of returning home.  Why is this? As a parent sometimes we look at camp as a solution.  We believe that once our children are get back home that they are “cured” and can eat what they want. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Camp is the beginning of a lifelong process.  Once our children get back home, we as parents have to help them stay on the same diet and exercise program that they learned at camp.

Weight Loss Camps Provide Positive Atmosphere for Overweight Children

Growing up can be difficult for obese children.  They are generally clumsy and uncoordinated due to the extra weight.  They have low stamina and poor flexibility.  Parents often see this and want to help by encouraging them to eat better and to lose weight.

Unfortunately, encouraging an overweight child to lose weight is easier said than done.  Even if incentives are provided, the process of losing weight is a long term one.  Few children realize that regular exercise or a consistently healthy diet will pay off in the long run.  Children can easily become sidetracked by more desirable activities or yummy looking snacks.

You might even think your child is sticking to a healthy diet.  He may well be – at least when he’s at home.  However, most children will stray from their diet if given a chance.  A visit to grandma’s house or a friend’s house, and he will likely eat whatever is offered.  Calories mean very little to a child.

Although obese children are loved by family members, they may not get adequate positive reinforcement.  It can be frustrating as a parent to see a child struggle when the key to losing weight is so simple.  Some parents express their dissatisfaction or disappointment with their child’s inability to lose weight.  This well meaning criticism can affect a child’s perceived self worth.  He may begin to think he is bad or that there is simply something wrong with him.  This can be very confusing and stressful for a child.

Weight loss camps for kids are structured with the idea of positive reinforcement in mind.  Children are never condemned, but instead they are praised and supported.  This positive atmosphere fosters growth and development.  Activities and camp events feature rewards and fun.  Kids lose weight without even realizing it, because they are simply having fun with their peers.

Another tool utilized at fat camps is humor.  Humor is used in a fun and useful way and never used in an unfair or cruel manner.  Many children that have faced criticism from family members in the past begin to open up and flourish due to the humor and positive reinforcement.  Camp counselors educate kids on effective ways of dealing with criticism.  They help children understanding that criticism is meant to be helpful, and it shows that parents care.

Weight loss camps foster positive growth by focusing on the child as an individual.  The fact that a child is overweight becomes irrelevant.  Instead, it is his actions and personality that are rewarded and appreciated.  Counselors encourage the growth of positive traits like kindness, thoughtfulness, and making new friends.

Some kids don’t want to go to weight loss camp, but even these children eventually come to enjoy the experience.  They enjoy making new friends and being part of a positive social group.  They thrive off the positive reinforcement and compliments, and they gain confidence.  Children grow, learn, and start to see themselves as good people.