4.30.2015

4 Things We're Doing to Raise Healthy Kids

I think all mothers have the health of their children at the top of their priority list.  I know I do!  I think about it daily as I prepare meals, turn off the television, and apply sunscreen.  I try to encourage my children to eat nutritious foods and lead a healthy lifestyle so that they can grow up to be big and strong and capable--just like their dad--because I want them to enjoy life to its fullest measure.  So here, in honor of the #chobanikids project, I'm sharing a few ideas of what our family does to create a healthy lifestyle for our children.

 
1.  Serve only milk or water.  No juice.

At our house, juice is reserved for sickies or toddlers with constipation issues.  The way I see it, juice is extra empty calories.  My children are much better off getting those vitamins straight from the food source itself.  We eat plenty of apples, bananas, grapes, and frozen berries!  The boys' pediatrician actually applauded me when I told him the boys only drink milk or water.  It's better for their teeth.  It's better for their weight.

Which leads me to...

2.  Serve healthy snacks.

Yes, I have totally been the one handing out fruit snacks like candy on Halloween, but I do keep healthy snacks on hand and insist the kids eat those to help tide them over to the next meal.  Some of our favorite quick things to eat are string cheese and air popped popcorn.  Sometimes I'll even whip up something special like a frozen banana smothered in peanut butter and a little nutella.  The boys know they can open the fridge to grab an apple or Chobani kids' strawberry yogurt and I'll always say 'yes'.  Did you know that Chobani offers yogurt pouches with fruits AND vegetables?  My kids love, love, love greek yogurt and I love that it is loaded with protein because it helps keep those bottomless bellies full.


 3.  Encourage Outdoor Play and Exploration
   
We are very fortunate here in Idaho to have so much space and wilderness to play in and explore right in our backyard!  Admittedly, I'm a sunshine addict; my happiness is tied to being outdoors.  (Vitamin D, baby!)  I'm trying to pass along that same love for outdoor adventure to my little boys by going on frequent mini hikes, picnics, spending afternoons at the park, and teaching them to ride bikes in the driveway.  An active lifestyle is what it's all about! 

I think it is especially important to let boys roam free and explore, to get dirty and sweaty, but most importantly, to push their limits.  How high can he climb?  How far can he throw?  What happens if...?  While watching my children play, I often find myself asking what the consequence of their actions might be.  Most of the time it's pretty harmless: he might hurt his toe or fall in the water.  And so I let it happen.  A small scrape or leaving sopping wet will leave a much bigger impression on his mind than my harping to 'be careful!'.  After all, I probably won't be there to swoop in to the rescue a few years from now.  It's best that he learn his limits while the consequences are small.  These little boys of mine are learning about the world around them and building confidence in their abilities at the same time.

4.  Sleep

After playing so hard outside, my kids need sleep!  (And I need a rest too.)  Nap time and bed time are top priorities in our home.  When one of our boys doesn't get enough sleep, he becomes deaf to our parenting and very whiny.  Everyone is happiest when we all get enough sleep.  Indeed, we have a regular bedtime routine which consists of pajamas, teeth, family prayer, and a story.  I think the story is my favorite part of putting the boys to bed.  We get to cuddle up together and I know their little minds are being stimulated in one of the best ways possible.  All around healthy!

*****

Please share!  What healthy habits does your family have?


We spent an afternoon picnicking in the South Hills.  It was a beautiful day for picking dandelions and hefting throwing rocks into the creek.  I'm looking forward to many more perfect afternoons like this all Spring and Summer.  These outings with my family just make me glow with happiness from the inside out.

2 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. We try so hard to instill a healthy lifestyle in our kids too. Candy is a very rare treat, we still have Halloween candy hiding in the top of the pantry. My kids forget about it and are perfectly happy to much on full-fruit fruit strips, yogurt, and string cheese. We too don't drink juice. It's a special treat when we do. Some days I feel like I'm the only parent trying to teach my children good eating habits. It is frustrating when they come home from a friend's house listing off all of the sweets they had there. Our house isn't immune to cookies and sugar, but I try to regulate it and not over indulge them. Getting outside is so important too. I'm trying harder to spend more time outdoors, which will become so much easier now that it is finally staying warm. And that bedtime routine- amen. Bedtime saves my sanity, and is so important for them, insuring they get adequate sleep.

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  2. Oh my goodness!! Your pictures are beautiful!! Yes, we try to eat healthy here too. Lewie's has a dairy allergy (like me), so we drink soy milk, but surprisingly, we are still able to eat yogurt without a problem. We try to make fruit smoothies whenever possible, and this is when I try to sneak in some vegetables and greens. We've been very fortunate with Lewie's health. Now that the warmer weather has arrived, we look forward to more days on our trampoline or taking bike rides in the park. I'm a sunshine, Vitamin D girl too! :)

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