Hi guys! Happy Monday I hope you all had a fantastic weekend like I did. My family and I spent time at our cottage on the lake. We cleaned, cleaned, mowed the lawn and cleaned some more getting it ready for summer. There are only 9 days left of school and the kids are beyond excited. Actually, I am really excited, too! It is going to be a fun filled summer!
Every summer, we spend a lot of time at our cottage. We wakeboard, we swim (the kids will play in the water from sun up to sun down. They literally LIVE in a bathing suit the entire summer) and we do get to relax. I love that my family and especially my kids, are active. Because, another common event that also happens at the cottage is…we eat out…a LOT!
My view at our cottage. It is Heaven on Earth!
This is me attempting my first try at Stand Up PaddleBoarding. I am HOOKED!
Usually on Saturday nights, we will take the boat to a restaurant for dinner. Then, on Sunday morning, we go to our favorite diner for breakfast. As you can imagine, this isn’t just hard on the wallet but, it’s hard on the calorie count!
Well, this is my second week as a Sista of Mamavation and this weeks topic is Childhood Obesity. As a fitness & nutrition enthusiast/blogger, a parent of two elementary school age children and a person that eats (as my husband says…) “too healthy” (if there is such a thing as TOO healthy??), this is a topic that I could spend HOURS talking and writing about. But, I have come up with five basic methods that I use to help my kids (and husband) make good, healthy food choices and help to keep the obesity monster out of our household:
- First and foremost, I educate my kids and family (and myself) about the different foods I am buying and we are eating. It is important for them to understand why they should or shouldn’t eat a particular food. So, if you are with your kids and on your drive home from the grocery store, start a conversation with them about the foods you have purchased. Don’t just say to them, “don’t eat sugar, it is bad for you.” As important as this is to tell them, it really doesn’t teach them WHY they shouldn’t eat sugar. Give them the reasons that it is bad for them and also, tell them about the bad things it can do to their bodies. When you (or your kids) are educated about the foods you/they are eating, you/they are able to make better decisions for life.
- In my family, we eat as many whole foods as possible throughout the day and with each meal. I stock up on foods from the perimeter of the grocery store and stay away from the processed junk in the middle aisles. Fruits and vegetables are a FREE meal/snack in our house and my kids can eat them whenever they want to. I always say, “Just grab, wash and eat.” We ALWAYS eat a vegetable or 2 with each meal and we try to eat a rainbow of colors, too. If we go out to eat, no matter what meal they choose to eat, we always start our meal with a salad. I have even taught them to dip their forks in the dressing instead of pouring it all over their salad. It is amazing how much LESS of it you will eat by dipping instead of pouring. My daughter has adopted this practice more than my son… well, as we say, he is a work in progress
- I live by example in front of my kids and family, as best as I can (I am human remember). I don’t just talk the talk… I walk the walk (eat the food), too. How can I expect my kids to eat healthy if I don’t eat healthy? They are watching… ALL THE TIME!! I will use the example of my husband, maple syrup and pancakes (sorry, Hun). So, it is breakfast and I have made some delicious healthy pancakes to eat. I pour a little syrup onto my kids’ cakes and spread it around. As we are all watching, my husband is drowning his pancakes in a gallon of maple syrup!!! (And don’t give me the excuse that it is okay because it is REAL maple syrup either. LOL.) Now, the kids are asking for more syrup! Ugggg!!! If you expect them to do as you say, they need to see you do what you say, too.
- Using Moderation is key in our house. I remember when I had taken my son to his 4 year well visit with his pediatrician. She said to him, “What is your favorite food?” and he replied with a BIG smile, “Pizza!! But, only in Moderation!” Oh, such a happy and proud mommy moment. One trick I use to help me use moderation with food (for me, it’s popcorn) is to set limits before eating. So, using the VERY unhealthy example of pancakes and maple syrup in tip #3 above, I would tell myself that I will only have one serving size of maple syrup instead of half of the container on my pancakes. It does help; especially when you use it in conjunction with tip #5.
- Be mindful of what you are eating and how much you are eating. I know, if you are like me, sometimes you find yourself looking into the fridge and you don’t even remember how you got there and you are now snacking on something you don’t even really want to or need to eat. Or, you think you can’t taste the maple syrup on the pancakes unless they are swimming in it. Well, try the dipping fork thing again with the maple syrup. Dip your fork, take one bite of the pancake and really concentrate on how it tastes. Can you taste the syrup flavor? Chew slowly and really concentrate… be mindful.
Of course, staying physically active is just as important. The more you exercise, the better you feel and the less likely you are to eat junk.
If you can follow these 5 methods, you will be well on your way to having a healthy family and stopping the obesity monster from finding its way into your house.
What are some tips you have that have helped your kids eat healthy?
Are you mindful when you eat?
UPDATE: We have a winner of the Chobani Greek Yogurt
Giveaway! Congrats, Laurel. You will be emailed the
details and Chobani will be in touch! Enjoy!
Thank you to EVERYONE who entered! Check back soon
foranother great giveaway!