The calendar has officially declared that fall has arrived, even if the weather is slow to get on board. This cooler season isn’t unlike summer in that it is full of wonderful ways for you and your family to stay active and healthy.
Here are thirteen fun things you can do with your loved ones. We encourage you to try one activity for each week of Autumn.
1. Play at the Pumpkin Patch.
The pumpkin patch is a great way to get off the couch and get some fresh air. Most patches have hay rack rides, petting zoos, and even playgrounds. Get the most out of your time, challenge your kids to find the oddest sized pumpkin, or get some exercise by searching the far end of the patch. There’s lots of fun to be had by all.
2. Eat Pumpkin!
While you’re at the patch, don’t forget to grab a few baking pumpkins. The big guys are great for jack-o’-lanterns, but don’t taste the best. The smaller sizes are great for more than pie. Try roasting a pumpkin and serving it with a little salt, or add it to your favorite chili recipe. In fact we have 11 more ideas for cooking with this gourd.
3. You Butternut Forget the Squash!
Whether you’re at the pumpkin patch or at your grocery store, don’t forget about the other delicious plants growing on the vine. Fall welcomes the season for winter squashes like butternut or acorn. The shapes are fun and the flavors are delicious. Experiment with new tastes with Butternut Squash Fries or Roasted Acorn Squash Salad.
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Color us surprised when the KC Bear Fighters started their set on Stage 5 at Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival on Saturday afternoon and asked the crowd to get up off their bums. It wasn’t to dance, although there was plenty of that going on, but instead to do squats. By the end of their 30-minute (incredibly entertaining) set, the lead singer, Quinn, estimated we’d completed 70 squats. If you aren’t used to that kind of workout, you were most definitely feeling the burn on Sunday morning while tearing down your tent.
The show was part of the 42nd Walnut Valley Festival, the largest bluegrass and flat-picking championship in the world. It’s a music festival set the third weekend in September in south central Kansas and people flock with acoustic instruments, tents, and visions of peace and recharging dancing in their heads. Like any festival, over-consumption of any kind is bound to ensue. But we went in ready to come home mentally recharged without the weight of the weekend carrying around our waists.
The KC Bear Fighters’ squats workout helped. But so did a few other things that we either happened on or deliberately planned.
This is how we survived Winfield in a healthy way while having as much fun as everybody else.
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There’s probably not one person alive who hasn’t been camping. Sleeping under the trees, cooking over a fire, enjoying the fresh air of the great outdoors – what’s not to love? Camping is a great family and budget friendly activity; it’s an inexpensive way to spend quality time together. Pack up the car, grab your sleeping bag and you are on your way. But what will you eat? If you are out for more than a few hours, you’ll soon discover that being outdoors works up a tremendous appetite. Many of the traditional camping foods are not so healthy, especially perennial favorites like grilled hot dogs, canned meat spreads and gooey s’mores. Is there a way to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors without resorting to those admittedly easy to pack but maybe not so good for your diet foods?
Just as in your daily life, one of the main secrets to planning healthy camping meals is the need to take the time to plan and prepare your meals. It’s much easier to grab a pack of hot dogs and some buns and leave town, but a little bit of advance planning will help you avoid resorting to bags of chips and cold fried chicken.
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