Here are 7 healthy ideas for Elf on the Shelf

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Here are 7 healthy ideas for Elf on the Shelf

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If mom and dad are having trouble getting the kiddos to eat broccoli, maybe the Elf on the Shelf can help? CONTRIBUTED BY CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA / PHOTO BY NATALIE DUGGAN

It’s that time of year when the Elf on the Shelf returns. He (or she) heads back to the North Pole to tell Santa Claus about the adventures of the day. Each morning, the scout elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun.

Did you know some of these elves love oatmeal for breakfast and do yoga? Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life has put together a list of all sorts of ways the Elf on the Shelf encourages healthy habits — from eating fruits and vegetables to trying new healthy recipes.

“The Elf on the Shelf” — based here in Atlanta and rooted in a family tradition going back to the 1970s — has sold a whopping 7 million books (and elves) since its 2005 release. Some think the elf is overly commercial and creepy with his ever-present stare, while others adore the cute, grinning guy and have happily made the elf part of their annual holiday traditions.

And for those households where the Elf on the Shelf is part of the holiday, ways for elves to share healthy ideas are endless. Here are seven ideas from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong 4 Life to get you (I mean the elf) started:

The Elf on the Shelf makes a snow angel in oatmeal. CONTRIBUTED BY CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA / PHOTO BY NATALIE DUGGAN

Elves love healthy oatmeal. To prove it, yours can pour some oatmeal on the kitchen counter and make a snow angel.

Forget the mantel or hanging on the balcony, this Elf on the Shelf takes a seat in a fruit bowl. CONTRIBUTED BY CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA / PHOTO BY NATALIE DUGGAN

Elves love fruits and vegetables. Your elf can strike a pose on the kitchen counter surrounded by raw veggies. Maybe the elf uses an erase marker to write a message on a nearby window or mirror: “Santa loves his fruits and veggies!”

This Elf on the Shelf does yoga. How about you? CONTRIBUTED BY CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA / PHOTO BY NATALIE DUGGAN

Elves love yoga. Your elf might say “namaste” with a nice, big morning stretch and yoga pose. Get sluggish kids going by having them do “child’s pose” each day before school.

Shhh! Your elf got cozy for a sleepover in a box of tissues. His note says the tissues remind him of the snow he snuggles up in at home — and how important it is to get a good night’s sleep.

Elves lift weights. Everyone knows elves are champions of strength. How else would they be able to carry around so many presents?! Have you heard about the elf that left an Elf-Gram that reads, “I did five push-ups last night. How many can you do?”

An obstacle course can get everyone moving in the morning. CONTRIBUTED BY CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA / PHOTO BY NATALIE DUGGAN

Elves make obstacle courses. Your elf can create a “laser obstacle course” for kids to navigate. (But be careful not to touch the yellow yarn, or you could get coal in your stocking.)

Elves can share recipes. Your elf may want to show kids what he or she likes to eat at the North Pole. Maybe the elf conveniently leaves a recipe for “Santa’s Favorite PB&Banana Wraps” on the kitchen counter.

The 2016 Holiday Guide introduces gift options for the holiday season.
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