Tag Archives: Healthy Children

Be Mindful About What You Eat

Image by Stephanie Frey
Image by Stephanie Frey

Don’t be an “unconscious eater.” It is very easy to grab whatever is handy and shove it in your mouth in all social situations and also while watching television or even doing chores around the house. It is amazing how much you can pack away without even realizing it. Be mindful about what you eat. Mindfulness ensures that you will eat the most nutritious and affordable foods available

Think about this . . . are you more mindful of the care you give your car than of the care you give your body? You would never use the wrong fuel for your car and expect it to run well. You depend on your car to get you where you need to go and probably take good care of it. You make sure it has regular maintenance, the right oil, the right fluids, and the right fuel. So why would you be less cautious regarding your body?

Unconscious eating habits endanger your own health, and also the health of your children. As a parent, do you toss whatever you can find on the table for the kids and hope they will stay healthy? Do you stop to think about the importance of building strong healthy bodies so they can enjoy long lives free of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity?

You probably try to give your kids the most nutritious foods you can afford. But, when life’s pressures and responsibilities overwhelm you, you may end up going through the nearest drive-thru just to get the family fed. You tell yourself that one time is not going to hurt; but, the truth is, even one time a week at a fast food restaurant adds up.

If you plan ahead and stay mindful of what you need to do in order to feed yourself and your family healthy nutritious meals, you will be more successful in making it happen. If you wait until you are too tired to think about nutritious food, chances are you simply won’t care if you take the easy road.

Educate yourself – read about food and how nutrition affects the body. Find healthy recipes, plan healthy meals in advance, have healthy snacks available to keep the kids happy while you prepare meals, and learn to Cook Ahead.

Finally, listen to your own body. What is good for one person may not be good for another. If you deal with food allergies and intolerances, you must take those into consideration when planning meals. Food allergies, or not, it is imperative to pay attention to how you feel after you eat – today and over time.  By doing so, you can continue to make the best food choices for you and your family.

Eat Well – Live Well! 

Keep Little Ones Happy and Healthy This Holiday Season

Happy, Healthy Holiday Season for Little Ones

Image by MartaMaria Fontana
Image by MartaMaria Fontana

As the holiday season approaches, many of us think about our own need to stay healthy and active. As we think about the parties, the cookies, the candy, the eggnog and all the wonderful food … a small sigh escapes our lips …. There goes the diet!

Adults are not the only ones with sweet treats tempting us to dig in and enjoy. Our kids are also bombarded with goodies all season. From Thanksgiving to Hanukkah and Christmas – all the way through New Year’s, the availability of sweets, treats, and good food in abundance is difficult to resist.

We are celebrating the holidays, and food is certainly a big part of the festivities. As adults we can make some rational choices about our dietary intake (if we choose to), our kids do not have quite the same resolve. It is up to us to make healthy choices easier for them.

Let’s look at a few ideas for holiday fun without all the sweet temptations.

Play Outside

When a child is playing hard, there is little time to think about anything else. If you get your children away from the table, away from the kitchen, and away from the house, they will do what kids do – forget and focus on the here and now.

No matter where you live and what the climate is like, there are things to do outside during the holiday season. Depending on their ages, you may have to do some if not all of the work preparing, but it will be well worth it.

If you have leaves, rake them up and give them free reign to jump and play and scatter the leaves. Get out the sidewalk chalk and decorate for the season. If you have snow, build a fort or a snowman, or have a snowball fight. Your kids will forget that plate of cookies if they get to pelt pop square on the back with a snowball, I guarantee it.

Take a walk through the neighborhood to see the decorations. Sing songs. Window shop. Sit on a park bench and watch the people. Take turns making up stories about who the people are and where they are going. Feed the ducks. Remember – the goal is to take them away from the sweet temptations at home.

Play Inside

It can be more difficult to keep your little ones’ attention away from sweets when they are inside. The trick is to plan games that require some thought and even some action. The game Twister comes to mind for indoor action, but there are many games for all ages that are great for keeping kids busy.

Choose thoughtful games such as charades, drawing games, or word games. Games that make your kids think and give them some good belly-laughs are perfect for keeping their minds off the sweets. Treasure hunts are especially engaging and can be played by all ages, with a little help. Be sure to have the treasure a non-food related treat and something everyone will enjoy.

You can easily play I Spy games indoors, or hide-and-seek, or other easy games with a variety of ages. Card games are versatile, too. There are so many options it is hard to choose sometimes. Challenge your kids to create their own games – in fact, play with them and make up some of your own.

Don’t forget crafts. Get out the bin of odds and ends and let their imagination run wild. Or plan a specific craft to make a product to give as a gift to a relative or friend of the family. Of course, video games are fun and certainly an option for some families. But, remember, they must be engaging for the whole family and keep little fingers and minds busy. I am not an advocate of letting them sit alone and play video games all day under any circumstances.

After a day of fun activities both outdoors and indoors, when it comes time to enjoy a sweet treat, they will enjoy it even more.

Happy Holidays!