2016 Fit Family Challenge Spotlight: The Griffins

Like so many families, Kelly and her husband want to discover new ways to get their three kids to eat more vegetables


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Kelly Griffin and her husband, Rodney, live in Summerfield with their three children.

Photo by Micki Bare

Piedmont Parent’s Fit Family Challenge launches this month, and we’re spotlighting two Triad families — the Hamiltons and the Griffins — who are up for the challenge to work toward better health with the help of a team of experts.

Our two spotlight families will be assisted by a trio of professionals:

  • Cindy Silver of Winston-Salem is a registered dietitian who has been practicing for more than 25 years. She owns a nutrition education, resource and counseling business called marketbasketnutrition.com.
  • Julie Luther of Greensboro is a fitness trainer and the founder and president of Julie Luther’s PurEnergy Health and Wellness Services Inc. She has worked with individuals and business organizations for more than 30 years promoting overall wellness.
  • Donna Burick is a certified life coach in Greensboro who specializes in energy therapy and body talk. She guides her clients through the stress and chaos that comes with being a parent, creating solutions to help them find peace, clarity and happiness.

Meet the Griffin family

Kelly Griffin, 39, and her husband, Rodney, 40, live in Summerfield with their three children — Rebecca, 12; Alexis, 10; and R.J., 9. Kelly is a stay-at-home mom while Rodney, a former police officer, now works at a law firm.

Kelly said she has always struggled with her weight, but after the birth of her third child, her health challenges increased. She has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, among other ailments. Medications she takes have made her gain weight and chronic pain has kept her from exercising.

The Griffins’ day begins at 6 a.m. and includes making breakfast and packing lunches for the kids, as well as taking care of the dog. Rodney leaves for work at 7 a.m., and Kelly takes the kids to school a few minutes later.

The rest of the morning for Kelly is spent doing errands or devotions. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., she takes a fibromyalgia water class. After having lunch sometime between 1 and 3 p.m., she picks up the kids from school at 3. Alexis has tutoring until 4:15 p.m. Kelly helps Rebecca and R.J. with homework.

All three children have after-school activities — R.J. is in Cub Scouts and plays baseball, Alexis plays softball, and Rebecca is in an education program that meets on Tuesdays.

Rodney goes straight from his job in Winston-Salem to baseball because he is R.J.’s coach. He is also the Scouts’ den leader.

Kelly said the family has dinner between 5:30 and 7 p.m. The kids are in bed by 8:45 p.m.

From then until bedtime at 11 p.m., Kelly empties lunch boxes, prepares for the next day and catches up with Rodney.

Weekends are spent at baseball and softball games and walking in nearby parks.

Goals

  • Bringing the family closer together.
  • Learning how to support each other in making the right choices for a healthy lifestyle.

Greatest challenge

  • Getting everyone to agree on a program.

From the experts:

Silver: Kelly’s big challenge is that she wants the family to eat healthier even though they have a very limited food budget. She realizes that all the family members need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and I encouraged her to rely on the more affordable canned and frozen varieties. The nutrition quality of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables is equal to fresh, which was something Kelly didn’t realize. One family goal is to get the kids to each choose a fruit and a vegetable they want to try to expand their variety.

Another family goal is to involve all the kids in the process of planning meals, grocery shopping and helping to cook the meals. Like so many families, Kelly and her husband want to discover new ways to get their three kids to eat more vegetables. I encouraged Kelly to try roasting vegetables like a cut-up sweet potato in the oven. This method makes even slightly bitter vegetables taste sweeter and is worth a try with the kids.

Luther: Kelly’s family had several ideas for indoor and outdoor activity. They need to pick one of each and do it for a minimum of 20 minutes, twice a week. Some of their ideas included exercise videos and playing dodgeball. Kelly is concerned that the entire family needs to find an activity and stay with it. Eventually, she wants to do a family 5K.

Burick: I’ll be helping Kelly find a schedule that the family will be happy to follow. I will also help Kelly identify stressors and have strategies in place to relieve the stress.

Anne Wooten Green is a freelance writer from Winston-Salem.


Join Us for the Fit Family Challenge!

The Fit Family Challenge is a FREE healthy lifestyle program for families! We want to motivate families to get moving and create healthier lifestyles. For eight weeks, participants will log their family’s physical activities and healthy habits in the Fit Family Challenge mobile-friendly Activity Tracker. The more activity you log, the more points you earn and the more chances you have to win fabulous prizes. Visit myfitfamilychallenge.com for details.

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