Helpful Tips

Uno Fitness Game

When you diet without exercising you lose both muscle and fat. This is counterproductive since muscle loss will lower your resting metabolism.

Challenge for parents:

Now that everybody has received their pedometers, try to set an attainable goal of taking 50 additional steps each day.

Challenge for the kids:

With your steps counter write down the number of steps you take for five days. Bring in the total on your post test day and you could win a prize.

Game for the kids:

UNO Fitness (you will need a pack of UNO cards)

  • Skip Card -- skip one lap around the room/yard.
  • Reverse Card -- jog/walk 1 lap backward around room/yard.
  • Draw 2 Card -- draw 2 cards from regular UNO cards and perform the activity which corresponds to the card color using the number of repetitions indicated by the number on the card (keep reading for activities)
  • Wild Draw 4 Card -- draw 4 cards from the UNO deck and do all 4 activities
  • Wild Card -- draw from the wild draw pile (made up separate and placed in center away from other action) and do the activity listed.
  • Number Cards -- the student does the number of repetitions indicated at the activity station corresponding to the color. Example: A student draws a card that is 5 red. Go to the red sign with the exercise listed and do 5 push ups or whatever that sign has listed.

Red = Push-ups
Yellow = Sit-ups
Green = Jumping Jacks
Blue = Hill Climbers
Wild Cards= These you have to make on your own. Some ideas could include: run in place, hop in place, rockets, crab kicks, bicycles. Be sure to pick a number of times each in performed.

Fast Food Facts

Do I have to stay away from fast food and restaurants?

  • Meals and snacks from fast food establishments, convenience stores, and restaurants should be purchased in moderation.
  • These establishments tend to provide foods in large portions, high in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
  • If it's the only option, choose a restaurant that offers healthier foods, more variety, and small portions.

How do I know what to choose?

Instead of this: Choose this: You will save:
¼ pound Cheeseburger
(500 calories/26 grams fat)
(300 calories/12 grams fat)
200 calories/14 grams of fat
Large French Fries
(500 calories/25 grams fat)
Small French Fries
(230 calories/11 grams fat)
270 calories/14 grams of fat
Salad with Crispy Chicken
*without dressing
(410 calories/20 grams fat)
Salad with Grilled Chicken
*without dressing
(300 calories/10 grams fat)
110 calories/10 grams of fat
Ranch dressing
2 tablespoons
(170 calories/15 grams fat)
Light Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons
(60 calories/2.5 grams fat)
110 calories/12.5 grams fat
Crispy Chicken Sandwich
(400 calories/20 grams fat)
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
(320 calories/7 grams fat)
80 calories/13 grams of fat
1 packet
(80 calories/9 grams fat)
Ketchup or mustard
1 packet
(15 calories/0 grams fat)
65 calories/9 grams of fat
Deep Dish Cheese Pizza
1 slice
(230 calories/7 grams fat)
Hand Tossed Cheese Pizza
1 slice
(160 calories/2.5 grams fat)
70 calories/4.5 grams fat
Small French Fries
(230 calories/11 grams fat)
Side Salad or fruit
(20 calories/0 fat)
210 calories/11 grams fat

Some more tips to choose healthier foods:

Choose foods like: Skip over these foods:
• Side Salads with low fat dressings
• Grilled chicken
• Small size burger
• Grilled or broiled fish
• Fruit
• Baked potatoes
• Low fat milk or yogurt
• Steamed vegetables
• Most restaurants will be happy to substitute French fries for vegetables or a side salad or grilled chicken instead of the crispy chicken
• French Fries
• Crispy or Fried Chicken
• Crispy Fish Filets
• Onion Rings
• Chicken tenders
• Mayonnaise
• Salad dressings like ranch, blue cheese, honey mustard, Italian
• Sauces on sandwiches like tartar sauce or special sauces
• Remember you can ask the server to leave off these items or even ask for these items on the side so you can control the amount that you eat.


Beverages can provide calories too, so choose the right drink.

  • Avoid large sizes of regular soda including clear sodas
  • Avoid milkshakes, shakes blended with candies or cookies
  • Watch the fruit flavored drinks – like fruit punch or orange drinks – some have less than 10% of juice and are made of mostly sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Choose more unsweetened beverages like
    - Unsweetened Iced Tea – you can add lemon and add a small amount of sugar or sugar substitute.
    - Water – you can add lemon for flavor
    - If you need to drink soda – choose a small kid’s size or diet to satisfy your need.

How many calories and total fat do I need for my meals?

  • In general children 8-12 years old need about 1400-2400 calories per day depending on the age and activity level. Based on these numbers you should:
    - Aim for about 350-600 calories per meal
    - Aim for 18 – 20 grams total fat per meal, 6-8 grams saturated fat per meal.
    - Aim for less than 500 mg of sodium per meals and snacks.

How can I find the nutrition facts on the foods at my favorite restaurant?

  • Most popular restaurants have started listing there nutrition facts and menus on the internet.
  • The nutrition facts will let you know how many calories, total fat, sugar, and sodium are in some of your favorite foods.
  • It is a good idea to take a look at these items prior to ordering so you can decide on the healthiest option.

Go ahead and do the math!
Look up your favorite meal and calculate the total calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium. See how you compare to the recommendations above.Here are links to some common restaurants’ nutrition facts:

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Low Fat Cooking Tips

To Reduce Fat in Cooking:

  • Use non-stick pots and pans.
  • Put your meats and poultry on a rack with a pan below. This allows the fat to drip away from the meat.
  • Use cooking spray.
  • Use non-fat beef, chicken, or vegetable broth.
  • To keep foods moist baste meats with:
    - Lemon
    - Tomato juice
    - Fruit juices
    - Beef, chicken or vegetable broth
    - Marinades or barbecue sauce

To Reduce Fat in Baking:

  • Substitute ½ cup applesauce, pureed raisins, or pureed prunes for ½ cup oil.
  • Substitute 2 egg whites for every whole egg.
  • Cut the fat in a recipe by ¼.
  • Use evaporated skim milk in your recipes.
  • Use non-fat or low-fat substitutes of cream cheese, sour cream or yogurt.
  • Cut any nuts or seeds out of your recipe.

To Reduce Fat in Main Dishes:

  • Choose leaner cuts of meats (round, flank, loin, sirloin, rump, roast, skinless poultry, pork tenderloin, seafood).
  • Trim all visible fat before cooking.
  • Remove skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Leave the fat out of soup, stews, sauces, and casserole recipes. They don’t need it.
  • Use non or low fat dairy products. Substitute evaporated skim milk for cream. Replace regular cheeses with part skim milk cheeses.
  • Precook and drain meats before adding them to a recipe.
  • Be sure to use ground chicken or turkey breast. Anything else will be higher in fat.
  • Bake your stuffing in a casserole dish instead of inside the bird. The stuffing absorbs fat drippings inside the bird.
  • Cook rice in chicken broth instead of water – you won’t need to add butter or margarine for flavor.

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Tips for Healthy Snacking

STEPSSnacks are important for people of all ages.

Healthy Snacks between meals:

  • Help supply us with vitamins and minerals we need everyday
  • Boost energy between meals
  • Help us control total calorie intake

Planning Snacks

Plan ahead and snack consciously. Mindless or emotional eating can lead to overeating.

  • Snacks should include 2-3 food groups.
  • Prepare ready-to-eat snacks in advance
  • Choose healthy snacks that are low in sugar and fat.
    - Low fat or non fat yogurt, ice cream, or pudding
    - Sugar free Jell-o
    - Vegetables with low fat dip
    - Fresh fruit or unsweetened applesauce
  • Choose healthy snacks that are good sources of fiber or whole grains.
    - Low fat popcorn
    - Whole grain pretzels
    - Whole grain crackers
    - Whole grain toast with no sugar added fruit preserves

Watch Hidden Calories, Fat and Sugar

Pay attention to food labels and serving sizes. Combine high-fat snacks like nuts and seeds with lower fat foods like dry cereal or pretzels and keep portions small

  • Energy bars and drinks – usually high in sugar
  • Granola bars – may be high in fat
  • Microwave popcorn – may be high in fat
  • Trail mixes with nuts and seeds – may be high in fat

Know What to Look For on Food Labels

Look on the Nutrition Facts Label.

Pass on foods that contain:

  • More than 8 grams total fat per serving
  • More than 2 grams saturated fat per serving
  • Contain any Trans Fats
  • Contain more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.

Choose foods that have:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins and minerals

Look at the Ingredients List:

Pass on foods that contain:

  • Sugar or high fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient
  • Ingredients such as: Partially hydrogenated oils

Choose foods that contain:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • No added sugar

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Steps for Kids


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