Off to a Great Start – Living an Active and Healthy Life
At age 11, Alexis is a sixth grader, who is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. She attends Foreign Language Academy. Alexis is very active. Her mother describes her as being high energy, very driven and always giving her all.
She loves playing soccer with the Sporting Missouri Valley Soccer Team and is constantly running, strategizing, and organizing her team. The family as a whole lead very active lifestyles. Father Ricky, is a soccer coach, mom Cristina, is a fitness instructor and brothers, Ivan and Carlos play soccer. Her grandmother, Sylvia also lives in the home.
How her family supports and encourage her:
Alexis with drill team members.
We encourage Alexis to be herself. We stay busy taking her to games and drill team performances. Her dad spends extra time training her on speed and agility for soccer. Alexis loves the competitive aspect of soccer and wants to get a scholarship for college. She feels that sports helps rid her body of negative energy. She enjoys drill team, music and dancing to the rhythms of Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Samba and Folklorico.
Alexis with dance group.
Some girls her age are obsessed with their looks and body image, what conversations do you and Alexis have about nutrition and fitness and how is it shaping her actions and views?
I remember there was a minor case of shaming by a classmate regarding her eating “unhealthy foods” such as chips and drinks. Alexis prefers to not eat red meat so we have to be creative and make sure she gets enough protein and fiber. She eats a lot of chicken, beans, peanut butter, chia seeds and fruits. Her food interests are unique. She can afford to eat a few more calories due to the amount she burns on a daily basis. We never say the word skinny in our home. Fit is healthy. My kids love to show off muscle.
Your advice to parents about encouraging their child to be active?
Sports and recreational activities is a time commitment that is rewarding to your children’s development socially and physically. It also will help them build positive relationships with teammates, coaches and other fam