Numerous demands on my time. A variety of key stakeholders who expect me to deliver. And never a spare moment to make a decent cup of tea. All in all, it’s an average Wednesday afternoon – except this week, I’ve swapped my colleagues for some crayons, and a multitude of meetings for multiple games of Snap.
Half term offers families of all shapes and sizes the wonderful opportunity to briefly hit ‘pause’ amidst the madness of the school run, the commute, the reading diaries and the potty training. But how do you fill those endless days when the rain is pouring and, frankly, it’s so much easier to watch Frozen on repeat yet again (it’s now got to the stage where we even know the deleted scenes from memory) than wrap up warm and head outside?
There’s a new documentary starting on Channel 4 tonight, entitled Junk Food Kids: Who’s to Blame? I was reading the blurb about it earlier, and was immediately struck by the opening line: “A third of British children are overweight or obese.” A third? A THIRD? We’re not talking about the population at large here; we’re talking about our kids. And a quick online search for the phrase “child obesity” immediately brings up an article emphasising that the World Health Organisation regards this issue as “one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century.”
Much as it’s tempting to simply draw the curtains, crack open the popcorn and not get out of our pyjamas until 7am next Monday, as a responsible parent you don’t have any option but to find a way to widen your children’s horizons and ensure they get active. It’s naïve to expect them to always hop, skip and jump their way out of the front door; the phrase “but WHY do we have to go for a walk?” is an oft-repeated one in our household, despite it being closely followed by “I LOVE it in the woods, Dad – this walk is actually REALLY COOL!” But if we want our children to grow up happy, healthy and ready to tackle whatever the world throws their way, we owe it to them to demonstrate how physical exercise can be fun.
Every parent needs some help with that, though – which is why the Sainsbury’s Active Kids Campaign <https://activekids.sainsburys.co.uk/> gets a big thumbs-up from me. From skipping ropes to rounders balls, and swimming caps to egg and spoon sets, this year’s scheme gives all of us the chance to help our our local school or community group acquire new equipment that’ll help children enjoy exercise. The campaign has some well-known ambassadors for 2015: the Paralympic gold-winners Jonnie Peacock and Ellie Simmonds, and the Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge.
For your chance to win £200 of Sainsbury’s vouchers, plus merchandise signed by this year’s Active Kids ambassadors, just fill in the form below. To increase your chances of winning, you can tweet about the giveaway or submit a tweet or Facebook link showing a picture of your vouchers.
Right, time for an egg and spoon race with the 6-year-old…
Disclaimer: this post was commissioned by Sainsbury’s, but all views are my own.